I’ve been on Twitter for a while now and I’ll admit it; I enjoy it. I learn a lot, I’ve made new friends (hey Kim Cory, Kristi Fickert, Charity Hisle and more), I’ve solidified other relationships and all in all, it’s been a great experience for me.
I’m not one of those people who get hung up on how many followers they have (it’s irrelevant), how many Tweets they’ve sent out (who cares?) or freaked out by spammers or pornographers (Check your email lately? They are there, too.).
But I think you need to be warned about the practice of reTweeting. A ‘reTweet’ (like when you forward a really good email) is when someone sends another person’s Tweet out again, basically giving their recommendation that the Tweet is definitely worth reading. Now don’t get me wrong – most reTweets are good. They really are recommendations for you to read the Tweet. But there is also a Tweet you need to know about …. the Incestuous Tweet.
The Incestuous Tweet is generally sent out by someone with AN AGENDA. They are either reTweeting a client’s original Tweet (this is often done by agencies, consultants and – get this – relatives), reTweeting a sister company’s Tweet, or reTweeting their own information which has been disguised as a different entity sending out the Tweet. Sometimes they are schmoozing someone; other times, they are just trying to look smart to the right people.
Confused? Probably. And I don’t even know if I gave you a very good explanation of this practice.
So…be warned. Just because the Tweet has been reTweeted a few times, it doesn’t mean it’s compelling or even worthwhile information. Sometimes, it’s just posturing.
Now, there are really great Tweets out there that get reTweeted. So how can you tell the difference? Probably the only way is to join Twitter, sit back and watch the Tweets fly. You’ll soon be able to cut through the noise and find out who the worthwhile people are to follow and to reTweet.