RT = FWD?
April 7th, 2009
Posted by Danny Allen
You know this story â€“ when someone first gets on email, they start forwarding you every “Did you know?” email and chain letter they receive. It’s a natural process â€“ newcomers to email get a flood of information that they haven’t previously had access to and they think it’s wonderful. On top of that, some of the best ones read “PLEASE FWD TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW.” So they do.
Most people get over that phase pretty quickly as they figure things out. However, we all have one or two friends who ten years later are still forwarding stuff. It’s usually a good friend or relative so you can’t add them to your spam filter. For the most part you learn to ignore them and automatically delete every email they send. Sometimes this causes me to miss a real email from them, but I can’t be blamed for that â€“ looking for real content in the flood of FWD garbage is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Twitter is getting that way now. People are seeing tweets they like and re-tweeting immediately. It’s really easy with apps like TweetDeck that have a RT button.
The problem is that you and your friends and people in your industry follow a lot of the same tweeters, so if you all RT something, you’re just sending it back and forth to each other. It’s an even bigger problem if you’re following a hashtag and people start to RT messages with that tag.
So the point is this: Some things are interesting and worth forwarding, re-tweeting, or calling everybody you know and telling them about it, but not everything you hear that may be a little clever or interesting needs to be re-sent.
Next time, instead of reaching for the RT button, maybe think about what you just saw and whether you can digest it a little and add something new to the conversation, rather than just FWD it along.
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