Monday, November 30, 2009

How to use new Tweetdeck to do TRADITIONAL retweets

The new edition of Tweetdeck -- Version 32.0 -- enables you to do traditional retweets.

There are two ways:

(a) making it a permanent setting, or

(b) choosing each time.

Since there is NEVER a time when you should use the new pseudo-retweet (See my prior aricle, "Advice: don't use Twitter's so called "retweet"!", short URL=, I strongly recommend that you choose traditional retweets as your permanent setting.


1. Go to "Settings" "Twitter".

2. Set first line to read "Retweet button should Edit before sending (Old style Retweet)"

3. Save.

(PS There's another way to do the above. The first time you're prompted to choose between the 2 kinds of RT's, click "Remember my choice" before selecting old style Retweet. In future, you won't be prompted; Tweetdeck will assume you're doing traditional RT's)


1. In "Settings" "Twitter" first line should read: "Retweet button should Always ask me"

2. Each time you want to retweet something, click retweet.

3. You will be given a choice between "Retweet Now" and "Edit then Retweet". Even if you do not plan to edit or comment, choose "Edit then Retweet" Your retweet will be a traditional retweet. [If you choose "Retweet Now" you will wind up in Twitter's "black hole" created by its fake retweet button. ]

I think it is a bit misleading to use the term "Edit then Retweet", since it implies that you should use that button only if you are planning to edit. But I'm glad Tweetdeck 32.0 supports traditional retweeting.

Thank you, Tweetdeck.

[Update 3/12/10 2:35 PM: For those of you using Seesmic Desktop as your interface, the way to do traditional retweets is to click on the "more" button instead of the fake "retweet" button, and select "quote". It's a pain, but at least there's a way to do it. -R.B.]

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Advice: don't use Twitter's so called "retweet"! #TR

My advice to all Twitter users is that you should not use what Twitter calls a "retweet".

Just pass it on by.

The true retweet is something Twitter's customers invented, and which Twitter stupidly never formalized. The true "retweet" is the life blood of Twitter, and what has set it apart from other similar "microblogging" services. [See my blog post awesomeness of retweets : ]

Here's how to do a true retweet it if you're accessing Twitter on the internet:

1. Copy and paste the message and name of person sending it to you.

2. Precede it by "RT @" [i.e. you type "RT", then a space, then a @. It's important that the @ and the name NOT have a space between them].

How true retweets work in Twitter "clients" -- i.e. applications.

If you're using Tweetdeck, Seesmic, or any of the myriad "clients" and applications which support Twitter and other microblogging platforms, they almost all provide "retweet" buttons which simply automate the above 2 steps.

If the makers of these programs are smart -- and they certainly appear to be -- they will preserve the true retweet function, even as they are forced to add Twitter's bastardized version.* Also they will quickly start supporting more and more other social media sites, in addition to Twitter (such as FriendFeed, StatusNet (, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, etc).

What's wrong with the thing Twitter mislabels a "retweet"

I don't have time to list all of the many things wrong with it; every day there are new, excellent articles coming out describing the stupidity of the product, and every day I learn of some new defective aspect of it.

My chief objections are:
(1) you can't insert a comment or start a conversation;
(2) you can't edit;
(3) instead of showing your avatar, it shows the avatar of the original tweeter, which might be someone the recipient doesn't know or have any relationship with;
(4) it prevents you from seeing multiple versions with different comments from different people;
(5) if someone retweets you, you will never know that they did, unless you go to the internet interface of Twitter, go to your home page, go to the Retweets column, and scroll through unsortable page after page of entries;
(6) if you retweet someone, they may never learn that you did, unless they go through the same process on their internet interface home page that you have to go through to find out if you've been retweeted;
(7) your so called "retweets" won't show up in Tweetdeck or any other Twitter "clients" or applications*;
(8) to the extent your identity is recognized at all in Tweetdeck, the recipient can't reply to you, or retweet you, or DM you, and may not even be able to verify your user name which appears in hazy type at the bottom of the tweet;
(9) it prevents conversation.

I.e., it takes the "social" out of "social media". It eliminates conversation and interaction, insists on blind rubber stamping, prevents you from letting your friend know you've honored them, and prevents you from knowing your friends have honored you. And it removes any clear indication of your identity to your own friends. Idiocy.

One of the primary uses of the traditional retweet is not as a simple "retweet" at all, but to start or continue a conversation, with 2, 3, sometimes even 4 or 5 people participating in a single tweet. Twitter management -- consorting as it does with the moneyed interests and "social media experts" who never get to enjoy such conversations -- appear to be oblivious to their very existence. Here are a couple of examples from some wonderful conversationalists who use "retweets" as conversation:

Can't you tell that the people who engage in such conversations are having the most fun of all on Twitter? They are absolutely the coolest communicators here.

Twitter's management doesn't get it. They're too important for that. They think a retweet is for the purpose of repeating some genius's isolated statement spoken in a vacuum to a vacuum, to be broadcast into an abyss.

People who tweet without these lively conversations are, to me, the saddest thing on Twitter. Twitter's pseudo retweet discourages -- actually makes impossible -- such interaction.

Why did Twitter do this?

I'm guessing it had to do with helping the "paying" customers -- celebrities, social media professionals, corporations, major news media -- who never retweet anyone, but are frequently retweeted by others. Their visibility will be enhanced, and Twitter's ability to sell us to them as "faces" and "impressions" will be enhanced. Meanwhile our interactivity with our friends is shattered, and our visibility to our friends is removed.

Even the "paying" customers -- for whose benefit this was done -- are being screwed. The Twitter they're paying for isn't the one they bought into.

What about other microblogging sites?

Since Twitter has basically given up its competitive edge by ruining the retweet, I recommend exploring the many other microblogging services, such as StatusNet (, friendfeed, etc. I personally am looking closely at friendfeed and StatusNet ( at the moment.

Right now we can probably do what I mentioned for the internet interfaces in most of those microblogging services as well. [E.g. FriendFeed has a "share" function. If you click that, it copies and pastes the post. Then at the beginning put in "RT @username", and you'll have a traditional retweet. Now if FF is smart they'll add a button which inserts "RT @username" automatically, and then you'll have a 1-step retweet like Tweetdeck, & most other applications, provide.]

Most likely some of those services will be smart enough to recognize Twitter's huge misstep, and will quickly implement formal "retweets" of their own, retweets which will embody the attributes of the true retweet rather than Twitter's joke version. [Note: Twitter, like all companies which are poorly managed and then try to make up for their business mistakes by resort to litigation, will no doubt try to force their competitors to use terms other than "retweet", probably claiming some trademark although Twitter itself has never even used the term until now. So just be on the lookout for the other microblogging services to use some alternative terminology for it.]

Also the desktop applications makers will no doubt be supporting more of the other microblogging services as well, and will be adding retweet buttons for all of them.


This is my advice:

1. Don't use Twitter's so called retweet function.... ever. (Unless you want to disappear into a black hole, in which case it would be easier to just stop "microblogging" altogether).

2. Use genuine retweets only.

3. Explore other microblogging services, and do traditional retweeting in them. If those sites or applications develop traditional retweet capabilities, then use them.

4. Use the hashtag #saveretweets when tweeting about this subject, and let Twitter management know that they should have spoken to their customers before ruining something.... just so they'll have a better understanding of how things work in the business world when they report for their next jobs, after Twitter has gone out of business.

* Update 2:07 PM ET, 12/26/09. In Tweetdeck vers. 32.*, the "new retweets" do show up in stream with 2 half sized avatars, 1 of the original tweeter, 1 of the last retweeter, and in latest verions have RT'g person's name in small hazy type at bottom of tweet. The avatar of the last retweeter and the name are for show only, however. You can't do anything with them other than squint at them. If you click them, you get no information about the retweeter, and you can't use them for RT'g, replying, DM'g, adding to a list, or anything else.

More importantly, Tweetdeck vers. 32.* has made it easy for you to configure it so that your retweets will by default be traditional, real retweets.

* Update 9:11 AM ET, 2/5/10. The recent Shorty Awards voting demonstrates the problem. Apparently votes lodged by the "fake retweet" button weren't counted, since the tweet had no identity -- URL -- of its own.

*Update 5:18 PM ET, 3/12/10. Seesmic desktop's "retweets" are the bad kind. But you can do a traditional retweet by going through a few extra clicks: click "more" then click "quote" and you'll be able to do a traditional retweet. Unlike Tweetdeck, Seesmic is not yet offering a means of configuring it to default to traditional -- rather than bastardized -- retweets, so you'll have to go through this exercise each time.

Update 9:43 PM ET, 4/7/10. One of Twitter's most successful accounts, shitmydaysays, just joinedr StatusNet (

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Help wanted: 13,000th Follower

Salary: none

Benefit: Opportunity to make nice new friends from all over the world

Generosity of spirit is required.

Intelligence and humor are preferred, since I am weak in both of those departments, but are not essential.

No right-wingers, bullies, corporatists, dictators, arguers, or other meanies need apply.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

How to make a twitter list

Take all the people you know on Twitter.

Divide them up into those you like and those you don't really care about.

Take the ones you like, and then divide them up into categories and characteristics.

Then put each into a pigeonhole.

Then take all those in a particular pigeonhole, and make them into a list.

This will take a lot of time, and will reduce each person you know into a handy set of characteristics instead of a human being.

(You may wonder why this is valuable. If so, that's because you're not in the marketing or advertising industry. If that's the case... off you go, into my "Non-advertising & Non-marketing" list.)

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My invaluable advice to marketers about Twitter lists

Marketers are intensely interested in #twitterlists; so I will give them my valuable guidance on the subject.

Coolest list to be on:

Least cool list to be on:

List of least value to marketers:

List with highest percentage of losers:

You may see a lot of other "important" articles giving you "lists" of ways to make money from Twitter lists, telling you which lists are the "cool" ones, and other similar advice. Just ignore them. What do they know?

No need to thank me. Don't even mention it. I love sharing my legendary knowledge of how to make money.

[Update 11/9/09 12:51 PM BREAKING: I just discovered an important new list which is at least tied with @Shelley_Rae 's "My Bitches" list in coolness.... @DeliaChristina 's all important "Dudes Who Don't Annoy Me" list. This list includes not only myself, but also our distinguished President @BarackObama. Since it is quite rare to find someone whom I do not annoy, and since this list includes me, I will have to consider it the coolest Twitter list, that is unless and until I become an honorary member of the "My Bitches" list. ~R.B.]

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