Tipping Pitches: Technology: Not bashing Retweets, but what's up with...


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Technology: Not bashing Retweets, but what's up with...

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Alright, so I've been one of the apparent six percent of the Twitter population who supports the new Twitter Retweet button. It's not that I think it's the greatest thing ever. But I understand why they did it, the weaknesses they were trying to fix, and that it isn't a finished product.

When sites are as big as Twitter and Facebook, any change is going to be confronted with irrational anger and confusion, no matter how big or small. So no surprise that this thing has become quite a mess.

I'm not going to complain about the inability to comment. That complaint is well documented, and word is that it is functionality that will soon be available.

I also won't complain about "strangers appearing in my feed." Come on, people. Your brain will figure it out. You know that if someone appears you do not recognize that it is someone who has been retweeted by someone you do recognize. If this is too tricky, your brain is easily tricked or you're following too many people.

Knowing that this is only phase one of the Retweet project, I don't expect it to be perfect. But what's up with...

1) New log of Retweets doesn't appear to be updating. Maybe no one has retweeted me since the 19th. I'll buy that. But the most recent Retweet by Others is the 19th? Not possible.

2) Can't retweet from my lists. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I have created a list that I typically use for my default view. For whatever reason, there is no retweet link when viewing a list. I then click on the profile to view that message to retweet, which is a pain.

3) Actually, retweets don't even show up when viewing lists. In other words, why use a list? Becoming a problem.

4) Retweets not recognized by third party apps. This is to be expected, so I won't hold it against Twitter. Third parties will need to catch up on any changes made to the API. That said, if people using third party apps (close to one half) don't see that I've retweeted something, the value is dropping quickly.

5) When you reply to a retweet, you reply to the original author. It would be nice to have some control over this. Maybe I don't care about the original author. Maybe I want to thank the person I know who retweeted it. I guess I could just @ them. But whatever. It's a little confusing.

6) Notifications would be nice. Ok, now I'm just getting picky. Maybe this is something that will come eventually. But considering I'm not on Twitter.com 24 hours per day and I do use third party apps quite a bit, I may completely miss when someone retweets me. It would be great if I could get an e-mail notification when this happens. Actually, it would be great if I could get such a notification for my @ messages, too. I'm not that popular. I want to know when it happens.

That's really all.

Again, I get it. It's not going to be perfect yet. I see the vision. I know where they're going.

But the product right now is semi-useless. You can't comment. The person you're retweeting may never even see you've retweeted them. The people in your network may never see the retweet if they are using third party apps or focus only on lists.

Lots of hiccups. Twitter will fix them, but these are some weaknesses I hadn't seen others complain about. So here I am. Complaining.

Anything else I missed?


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