Twitter Tuesday: Retweeting

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WHAT’S A RETWEET?

If you actively use Twitter, then you already know the answer to this question. But if you’re just starting out and trying to learn the lingo, read on.

A retweet is when a tweet is reposted by another person (giving the original poster credit). The term retweet is often abbreviated to RT. There are two kinds of retweets, an “Old-Style Retweet” and a “New-Style Retweet.”

 

“OLD-STYLE RETWEET”

The “Old-Style Retweet” allows you to edit a tweet before sending. It looks like this:

Please note how you can add a comment to the tweet before sending. Some Twitter clients will post retweets like this:

This is actually a retweet of a retweet. Note the (via @username) at the end of the tweet, as that is what I was trying to show.

 

“NEW-STYLE RETWEET”

The “New-Style Retweet” does not allow you to edit a tweet before sending. It looks like this:

It’s faster, cleaner, and looks almost exactly like the original tweet. The downside is that you can’t comment on what you post. Because the tweet doesn’t add the @username or via @username, the it contains less characters than the old-style retweet.

 

WHICH ONE DO I LIKE BETTER?

They both have their advantages and disadvantages. I have the old-style retweet set as the default on TweetDeck because I like to comment on a tweet before sending it. The new-style retweet does have its advantages, and I will use it when it makes sense to (for example, when reposting a long tweet).

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF RETWEETING

  1. It helps you feel involved in the community.
  2. You can communicate with other users. Most will appreciate having something retweeted.
  3. It spreads the word about a link, post, comment, etc . . .
  4. Others might return the favor.

So start retweeting! The Twitter website and many applications have easy-to-use retweeting buttons.

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Do you feel that retweeting is important? Let me know in the comments below. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @amye_

Twitter Tuesday: Twitter Clients and Extensions

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If you don’t like the layout of the Twitter website, fear not. You can do pretty much everything on Twitter via applications and other clients.

DESKTOP CLIENTS

Desktop clients are a convenient and popular way to keep up on Twitter. Most of them even have a version for your smartphone.

My favorite desktop client—well, honestly the only one I’ve used—is TweetDeck. This is one of the most popular clients for a good reason—you can do almost anything Twitter-related on it. Plus it’s free. I was originally drawn to this program because of the simple interface and the groups feature. The groups feature allows you to sort the people you follow into groups. Each group gets its own column; this makes it easy to keep track of everthing. You can also manage Foursquare, Facebook, Myspace, Google Buzz, and LinkedIn from TweetDeck.

This is what TweetDeck looks like on my computer:

Tweetdeck Screenshot

Hootsuite is another popular client (although it’s one that I haven’t tried . . . yet). There are two versions of Hootsuite—a free one and a paid one. For the casual user, the free version should be fine. The pro-version ($5.99 USD/ month) would be great for a company or if you want to manage more than five social media accounts. The paid version lets you use Google Analytics as well.

Other clients include twhirl, Twitterific ($14.95), and Seesmic.

For me, TweetDeck worked so well that I didn’t feel the need to try any other clients. Of course, if I find one that better suits my needs or if I get curious, I will try it.

WEB BROWSER:

Another way to check your Twitter account without accessing the website is via a web browser extension.

Firefox

My favorite extension is Echofon. It’s a tiny little icon that sits on the corner of your browser and displays new messages. I always have turn it off when I need to concentrate on something, but it’s nice if you want to read your messages as they appear.

In the past, I’ve used Yoono, which put my email, Facebook, Twitter, and IM accounts in a sidebar on the left hand side of my screen. This worked for a while, but ultimately annoyed me too much (you can hide the sidebar, but I’ve found that other extensions just work better).

TwitterBar lets you type a status update from the address bar on your browser. It’s useful, especially if you share links often, but I uninstalled it because it didn’t do enough for me.

I’ve also tried FriendBar, which streams updates from your Facebook and Twitter accounts. The version I tried was too bulky for me.

There are many more add-ons available here if none of these suit your needs. To be honest, you sometimes have to just play around to find something you like.

Other Web Browsers:

I’ve never actually tried any add-ons for different browsers, but they do exist for Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Opera.

In any browser, I highly suggest that you try this bookmarklet. Just drag and drop it in the correct toolbar. I use it all the time! It makes it very easy to share links.

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What Twitter apps, clients, or add-ons do you like? Let me know in the comments below. Also feel free to Tweet me your Twitter questions @amye_, email them to me at amy@amyerickson.net or ask them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them in future posts.