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Lisa Barone's thoughts on Twitter's new Retweeting feature. It's intrusive, badly thought out and counter-intuitive to the way people use the system #TwitterFail
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from elektro 1859 Days ago #
Votes: -2

I don't understand the idea behind that..



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from AnnieCushing 1859 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I couldn't agree more. The new RT is teh suck.

I especially liked Lisa's point about how companies frequently fail to listen to users when they start getting big. They ride the crest of the wave of a new technology for a while and then, instead of garnering feedback from their fans to meet their needs, they start making decisions based on what THEY think is best. [Exhibit B: the new, new, new Facebook]

At the core, I really can't think of any instances where users have ever been happy about having their freedoms taken away (e.g., not being able to comment on the RT). Quite the contrary, it hints of arrogance.



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from NickWilsdon 1859 Days ago #
Votes: 3

I think Tony Adam nailed it in the comments - too many start-ups totally ignore their user base, especially once they have the money rolling in. Their attention turns to the VCs and their user's are considered lucky to have a free service to play with.

I've been really impressed with HotGloo, the wireframing app. They run a forum where users can 'spend' their 12 votes on new features. If the feature gets approved, then the votes are returned to the user. I wish Twitter had employed something similar - it's a great way of interacting with the community.



Avatar Moderator
from Sebastian 1859 Days ago #
Votes: 3

From an academic POV Twitter's RT implementation is 100% correct. They just forgot to analyze what users actually do and intend when they're RT'ing content, commented/edited or not. That is, the solution is close to perfect, but unfortunately it's a solution for a totally different task.

Twitter's RT thingy is actually a high sophisticated SHARE functionality. Something in between FAV and community-RTs. Of course spamming the timeline totally sucks, there should be a separate SHARE page or any kind of stream for that. Then Twitter should implement a button that allows traditional RT'ing, with editing and all that.




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from mr603 1858 Days ago #
Votes: 2

To be honest, we survived for years without the RT button, so the fact that they've added one that some users aren't 100% happy with isn't a huge issue AFAIK.Some of the criticisms though - "I hate it because it shows other avatars - it's like being robbed in the night" - that needs a healthy dose of perspective.



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from NickWilsdon 1858 Days ago #
Votes: 3

@mr603

I don't mind people turning up in my stream, provided they are interesting and I can block them if they spam me. It's not going to cause me sleepless nights or road rage ;)

The key criticism is that is stops people ReTweeting in the first place - which is rather counterproductive. What's the point in contributing your time if you don't get any credit for it?

At the moment you get appreciation from the source, people along the way and maybe pick up a follower or two. By taking away the social reward along the chain they maybe killing the function. They should let people capitalise the information, we're not an altruistic species.



Avatar Administrator
from Michelle 1857 Days ago #
Votes: 3

What @sebastian said :-)  I would also add that development by committee (in this instance, the vocal internet marketing twitter user base) rarely, if ever, works. Sounds great in theory, but in reality, systems - complex, distributed systems - need features added based not necessarily just on the needs for users today, but with future features, interoperability and scalability in mind as well.

I also don't think it's fair to assume that they added the new functions without considering how people do use the RT right now.  I'm sure they did analyze it. I just think it's hard for such an active base of users (the search/social/internet marketers and twitter-based celebrities) to imagine that maybe we're not really the target user.



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from NickWilsdon 1857 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@Michelle

You maybe right but capitalising on information isn't exclusive to Internet Marketers, people have been doing it since time began - from stock tips to community gossip. Once you have information that other's don't have, then you can capitalise on it. Without attribution there is no reward.



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from mr603 1857 Days ago #
Votes: 2

@NickWilsdon - I do sort of sympathise with that point of view (it's the only argument against the new RT that holds water for me), but Twitter's primary concern is information, not ego. If I want credit for a Tweet, I'd do it the old way, with my comment tacked on. It comes from me, it has my name first and it gives me the kudos.If someone on my list Tweets something insightful that I want to share with my network quickly and easily, then this new button has a use. It passes on the information, verbatim, crediting me more subtly.If you find that your RTing is more about you than about the information you're passing on, I'd say that you might need to reconsider how you use Twitter.



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from NickWilsdon 1857 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@mr603

>If you find that your RTing is more about you than about the information you're passing on, I'd say that you might need to reconsider how you use Twitter.

Ah you're throwing the altruistic card at me ;0) Are we all *really* that thoughtful about our community? RT certainly isn't all about me though, I do it because I genuinely find the information useful and want to share. The benefits though are there - making my feed more useful (valuable) to people, kickback love and new followers. Feels a fair reward for my time - but yes I'd do it anyway. I just question if the majority of people feel that way once they realise the reward has gone?

>It passes on the information, verbatim, crediting me more subtly

I'll think you find it doesn't credit you at all if it's done by more than one person in your network? That's maybe too subtle a credit for some people?

Maybe they should have just relased this as a 'share' function as other commentators have suggested. I can't criticise Lisa for the rant though - the link from WSJ was worth it alone ;) It seems rant-bait is far from dead.





Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1856 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Just read Ev's post about why they created this new RT feature. At least it now makes sense to me. I couldn't quite grasp what it was they were doing and why. Still think it's unnecessary tho, and I don't like people I've unfollowed showing up in my timeline.



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from mr603 1854 Days ago #
Votes: 3

@Nick - Oh, it's wonderful rant-bait, no arguments here!I've followed you on Twitter, so I've seen how you RT - and I'd hope more people would retweet in the way you do, if that incentive is removed.The issue is that the incentive hasn't been removed. It's still there - we can all do what we used to do, in the way we used to do it.



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from trickym81 1850 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I really don't like that I can't add my own comments in front of the retweeted text.

I know, it seems a little vain, but it's very annoying.



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from mr603 1846 Days ago #
Votes: 3

You can though - just not if you choose to use the button. Nobody's forcing you to use it.



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