feb 19

Twitter's Two Cultures

Jorn's "Web 3.0 is going to be about filtering Web 2.0" got retweeted 50 times, which elicited the post Twitter's Two Cultures (retweeters vs. favrders). Update: Honan gives a pretty good counter-argument in the comments.


This is the most ridiculous thing on the internet to complain about, but if everyone went back to using Favorites instead of Retweets, the world would be a better place.

And of course it will never happen.

posted by Rex at 9:42 AM on February 19, 2009

Team R/T.

posted by Rachel Sklar at 11:03 AM on February 19, 2009

RT's have blown up far beyond my tolerance level just in like, the past week or so. What's up with that?

posted by katiebakes at 12:52 PM on February 19, 2009

"if everyone went back to using Favorites instead of Retweets, the world would be a better place"

The thing is, they are fundamentally different. I do both. I think both are valid, and useful in different ways.

I know people hate retweeting, but if something comes across the transom, and I think other people should see it, I re-tweet it. I tend to retweet stuff because my followers don't overlap 100 percent with the people I follow. I also tend *not* to retweet things from people with tens of thousands of followers. Why bother?

I use favorites like Twitter bookmarks, much like I do with Flickr photos. I think Favrd, while entertaining, is kind of meh. The Twitter as one-liner seems a little bit stale.

But I know nobody sees the things I favorite (similarly, I don't see typically yours) I know I *can* but it's not automated in the way retweeting is. I have to make an effort.

In short: You retweet things because you think OTHER people should see them. You favorite things because YOU want to see them again. (Because you agree with it, love it, hate it, or whatever.)

There should be a better way to handle both of these behaviors. (And related: wouldn't it be nice to *all* of your tweets that have been favorited, not just the ones picked up by favrd/favotter?)

Sorry. Ramble on!

posted by mat at 4:25 PM on February 19, 2009

Very good points. Too bad it's too long to retweet.

posted by Rex at 4:33 PM on February 19, 2009

Oh, is Favrd that thing that Nick Douglas is always talkign about? If so, team Retweet.

posted by katiebakes at 4:38 PM on February 19, 2009

twitter for the masses seems to be all about shouting useless crap from a rooftop, and "favoriting" tweets is very quiet in comparison...

do you think adding digg style "thumbs up/down" buttons to tweets would remove the glut of retweeting?

posted by luke at 5:19 PM on February 19, 2009


If you can't say it in 140 characters, it's not worth saying. Leo Tolstoy told me that.

posted by mat at 6:49 PM on February 19, 2009

I see it as a design problem. If favoriting was more prominent on the site from the get-go, then RTing probably wouldn't have taken off. If I were Twitter overlord, I would automatically insert people's favorited tweets into their feed, effectively making them retweets. And then people would FREAK OUT!!! And get over it 20 seconds later when they notice something shiny on their FacePage or whatever.

posted by jkottke at 7:49 PM on February 19, 2009

Following up on Mat's comment.

the 60 second elevator sales pitch has turned into the 140 character tweet. The problem is, people forget that one only need to visit your twitter page to realize you have "NOTHING" else or better to say...

I for one appreciate the retweet. But that is more likely because I follow the less is better and content is king approach to my post and include it in my decision on who I follow.

Luke, I wish they did have some scoring method on tweets and accounts!

posted by BradyP at 1:42 AM on February 20, 2009

Team Mat.

posted by Rachel Sklar at 2:44 AM on February 20, 2009

if favoriting was a more public act and people were notified when they were favorited (with opt-out to avoid spam-faving), then retweets would truly become redundant

posted by xian at 5:20 PM on February 21, 2009

If favoriting were cumulatively scored such that good stuff rose to the top somewhere without RT, wouldn't that solve the problem? RT is a kludge and not a very good one.

posted by Skry at 2:01 PM on February 22, 2009

NOTE: The commenting window has expired for this post.