Sunday, 25 November 2012

Twitter Q&A Part Two

Rachel of Punch Presence answers more questions about Twitter
This is part two in an on-going series in which I ask Rachel from Punch Presence all about Twitter. In Part One, Rachel covered many of the basics. Today,  Rachel explains replying, retweeting, and other ways of interacting. UPDATE: You can also read Part Three.

So many options...
In web twitter, I'm given the option of replying, retweeting, and favouriting. I have an extra "share" option in my Twitter Android app, which is a bit like copying and pasting and allows modifications to the tweet. What each of these things and when should I do each one?

What happens when I reply to a tweet? Where do my tweets go? Do they become nested under the person's tweets? Do they show up in my own feed?

Rachel: When you click to reply to someone’s tweet, their Twitter handle will appear automatically, and you’ll type your tweet in after their name.

The reply tweet that you posted will appear on your Twitter profile page. 

If the recipient of the reply (in the situation above -- that’s @lifehacker) is following you, the reply tweet will also show up on their profile page. The recipient of the reply will also get a notification that you have replied to their original Tweet. 

Still following? It can be a lot, I know. Once you hang out on Twitter for a bit, this will all be second nature.

When should I retweet? How does it appear in my own feed?
Sometimes I see tweets with "RT @SoandSo" and then the content of the original tweet. How do I do that and why would I choose to do that rather than simply clicking the "Retweet" button?

Rachel: You should retweet anytime you want to share something with your followers! Twitter’s Retweet function (underneath the Tweet) makes it easy to do this quickly. 

So - you can either click “Retweet” and this will be posted (your followers will see the retweet -- and the original Tweeter will get a notification that you retweeted what they posted).

OR you also have the option to type “RT”, then @SoandSo, and copy and paste their original tweet. This is a more … manual way, I suppose, to indicate that you’re retweeting something.

There’s also a good deal of information on this Twitter Support page.

An extra note from me: I use Twitter from my Android device (a Google Nexus) more often than by computer, and copying and pasting doesn't appeal to me. After a bit of trial and error I noticed that the share button can be used instead, although it requires a bit of editing to cut out the details I don't want.

What does "MT" mean? What's the difference between MT and RT? Why would I do one and not the other?

Rachel: An MT is a “Modified Tweet: Say you want to retweet what another user wrote...but you might paraphrase it and add your own comment (to fit in the 140-character limit). That’s when you’d use the MT.

What does favouriting do? Why would I do it?

Rachel: Favoriting a tweet will indicate to the original tweeter that you liked their tweet. You can favorite a tweet and come back to it later (go to your Twitter profile page and click on “Favorites”).

How can I archive any interesting tweets I see for later?

Rachel: Favoriting is a great way to do this! Access your favorite tweets on your Twitter profile page.

An extra note from me: Since I use Twitter most often from my Nexus, "sharing" to Evernote is my preferred way to archive. It creates a new note in Evernote with a link back to the original tweet, and I can add any comments or text I wish. I typically archive any tweet I think I might want to mention in a blog later on, and I'll add additional text - typically potential future blog labels - so that I can search evernote for it down the road.

How do I decide between retweeting, quoting, MTing, favouriting, etc?

Rachel: I would say that some of this might depend on character limit. 

 If you really like what someone tweeted and just want to share with followers, you might simply retweet. 

 If you want to quote a Tweet (and still give credit to the original Tweet), a Modified Tweet might be suitable, especially if you need to shorten the original tweet to fit. 

Or perhaps you just dig the tweet and want to reference for later -- click on “Favorite” and you’ll see a gold star indicating that it’s been included in your favorites.

In the next post in this series, Rachel will talk about frequency of tweets and following.

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