Wednesday, October 19, 2011
What the Heck are MODified Tweets?
Now most of us have been making changes to those tweets when retweeted. And that’s okay; everyone does it. Most commonly, we slice back and abbreviate some wording, and perhaps add a little bit of our opinion on the end.
For example, if @hockeyhaha tweeted this: Did you know, for example, that the seven top hockey players of all time were from Ontario Canada? Who would have thought? #hockey
And then you retweeted it, resulting in something like this: RT @hockeyhaha Did you know, that the all time top 7 hockey players were from Ontario Canada? Who would have thought? #hockey –thx for info!
No loss of content there, just some abbreviating, rearranging, and the addition of an opinion. You’ve seen these many times.
However, lately, I’ve been seeing more use of the modified tweet, or MT. Personally, I have never used it nor taught it. Surprisingly, MT has been around for the last couple of years (if not longer). A quick assessment of usage on Twitter reveals that in an hour’s time, MT was used once for every 150 RT’s. That’s not a lot of usage!
So, I’m here to spread the word about it. Should we be using it? And why? This gets a little tricky, and perhaps explains why so few tweeps use it. Rationale to use it would include:
• Repurposing the usage of the original tweet
• Substantially adding value to the original tweet
• Fixing; perhaps the content was incorrect and you are merely setting the record straight? This could be either factual or a typo.
• Altering the original tweet beyond a simple abbreviation or dropping a word therefore changing some of the meaning of the original tweet.
• Deleting the original hashtag and adding a different one, thus repurposing the audience of the tweet.
Going back to our original tweet example from earlier, an MT could look like any of these:
MT @hockeyhaha Did you know, that the all time top 8 hockey players were from Ontario Canada? Who would have thought? #hockey –thx for info! (correction)
MT @hockeyhaha The all time top 8 hockey players were from Ontario Canada achieved this in the last 30 years. #hockey (added value and correction)
MT @hockeyhaha Did you know, that the all time top 7 hockey players were from Ontario Canada? Who would have thought? #NHL –thx for info! (hashtag change)
It’s becoming obvious as to why the modified tweet isn’t used all that often. It takes a bit of thought...and who has time for all that? The restriction of 140 characters makes it challenging to change a tweet all that much. And, what's the likelihood that you are aware that the original tweet has incorrect information?
Let it be known that modified tweets exist. It’s there for you if you need to use it instead of an RT. Who knew?