Understanding the Name of the Game: Retweeting

I happen to be online quite a bit these days. Often I’m checking out what is going on with Twitter and if there’s something interesting, then I’ll be more than glad to retweet that information. However, it should be noted that people don’t seem to understand the basic premise behind what the meaning is about retweeting something.

For me, often I will see one of the people whom I am following post something on Twitter that I think people should either know or find interesting. I make no claim as to whether or not I agree with said tweet and leave that decision up to the reader who clicks on the link. In other words, just because I retweet something doesn’t mean that I’m in bed with that tweet. I only do so because it is of interest to the rest of the community.

Why do I bring this up now? It’s because once I’ve retweeted out something, sometimes I get some feedback about that tweet. I don’t mind receiving tweets but what I do mind are people thinking that they can attack me just because they think I’m agreeing with the original tweet. This is not the case and I’d appreciate it not being that way. Here’s one instance where I happened to retweet something that resulted in a very tiny verbal altercation:

Retweet Example #1

Retweet Example 2

As you can see, the first tweet shown was from me retweeting something by my good friend Shel Israel. In good and proper disclosure, I am a contributing blogger to Network Solutions, but I thought that this tweet was important or perhaps interesting to people who wanted to learn more about a case study in social media or perhaps had an account with the company. In return, I received this @message reply back with a verbal attack on my retweet. When have I ever said in my tweet that I agree with the position taken in that message or even in what was listed on that tweet?

With retweeting, one of the most important things to note is that it’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with the person who does the retweeting. Instead, it’s all a matter of word of mouth promotion. The more retweets, the more it is promoted. In order to be retweeted, you should make sure that you’re putting out something that has value and is important to people. For those people who might have a comment or issue surrounding the retweeted message, perhaps it might be best to address your tweet to the original author of the tweet in question.

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14 responses to “Understanding the Name of the Game: Retweeting”

  1. bremmel Avatar
    bremmel

    Great point Ken. It's unfortunate that some people mistake the RT'ing of a tweet for implied agreement.

    If the tweet in question had been 'Iranian Government Captures Three Americans,' certainly your RT wouldn't have been mistaken as endorsement for Iran's action.

    In this particular case, because you do have ties with NetSol, simply RT'ing a message becomes slightly more complicated for those who know you. I don't agree with the @attack, but your affiliation plus retweet could be mistaken for endorsement.

    1. Ken Yeung Avatar

      Thanks Brian…always appreciate your feedback and insights. And you're right that in this particular example it might be constrained as being an “endorsement”, but had I not been working for Network Solutions, and it seems that the person who chose to “attack” me with an @message didn't know that I blogged on behalf of NetSol sometimes, would this have been any more different to instigate a conversation like what was had?

      The interesting question then would be how does one respond? Do I reply and try and defend myself or let it go? If I defend myself, do I defend the position relating to the tweet or do I let them know that I'm only retweeting because it's something I thought was interesting. There are times when I retweet without looking at what's behind the link – the headline itself of the tweet is worthy of looking at and retweeting.

  2. bremmel Avatar
    bremmel

    I think it's important to address your attacker while diffusing the situation. Instead of 'defending yourself,' you could try 'politely clarifying' your position.

    Sample response: “@X Thanks for the info. I'm not defending NetSol, just passing along Shel's post. I'm sure he'd like to see your comments on his blog.”

    1. Ken Yeung Avatar

      Excellent advice. I'm sure that would be a rather templated response for any retweet “attack” (and I use that term loosely because I didn't totally see him attacking ME, per se).

      But let me throw a curve ball here…what would you say if I told you that @X also was seeking out ANYONE who was retweeting and issuing the same remark as if they were on a campaign to berate anyone who was mentioning NetSol?

  3. bremmel Avatar
    bremmel

    Interesting… but I don't think it would change my response.

    Hopefully this spammer would get tired of reading polite, well-informed responses, and just give up his campaign 🙂

  4. Shashi Bellamkonda Avatar

    Hi Brian and Ken,

    Brian your advice is spot on and I engaged with the person as he was tweeting the same thing to anyone who retweeted this , I just told him the steps Network Solutions was taking to address the issue and I think he just gave up his campaign 🙂

    Not sure if I agree with attacking everyone who retweets something from their friends or acquaintances and i am sure you do not too. I think the engagement should be on the post that was being retweeted.

    I know I have a lot to learn and everyday is a learning experience.

    Thanks,

    Shashi

    1. Ken Yeung Avatar

      Hi Shashi,

      Please don't get me wrong as I didn't mean to bring this up as an “attack” on Network Solutions. My original intent for this blog post was to focus on the concept of a retweet NOT Network Solutions or any particular retweet issue. I just pulled this one because it was recent in my mind that highlighted the issue in question.

      However, I think your reply in regards to the Network Solutions issue is a good one – both you and Brian have provided me with some good insights.

  5. bremmel Avatar
    bremmel

    Great point Ken. It's unfortunate that some people mistake the RT'ing of a tweet for implied agreement.

    If the tweet in question had been 'Iranian Government Captures Three Americans,' certainly your RT wouldn't have been mistaken as endorsement for Iran's action.

    In this particular case, because you do have ties with NetSol, simply RT'ing a message becomes slightly more complicated for those who know you. I don't agree with the @attack, but your affiliation plus retweet could be mistaken for endorsement.

  6. Ken Yeung Avatar

    Thanks Brian…always appreciate your feedback and insights. And you're right that in this particular example it might be constrained as being an “endorsement”, but had I not been working for Network Solutions, and it seems that the person who chose to “attack” me with an @message didn't know that I blogged on behalf of NetSol sometimes, would this have been any more different to instigate a conversation like what was had?

    The interesting question then would be how does one respond? Do I reply and try and defend myself or let it go? If I defend myself, do I defend the position relating to the tweet or do I let them know that I'm only retweeting because it's something I thought was interesting. There are times when I retweet without looking at what's behind the link – the headline itself of the tweet is worthy of looking at and retweeting.

  7. bremmel Avatar
    bremmel

    I think it's important to address your attacker while diffusing the situation. Instead of 'defending yourself,' you could try 'politely clarifying' your position.

    Sample response: “@X Thanks for the info. I'm not defending NetSol, just passing along Shel's post. I'm sure he'd like to see your comments on his blog.”

  8. Ken Yeung Avatar

    Excellent advice. I'm sure that would be a rather templated response for any retweet “attack” (and I use that term loosely because I didn't totally see him attacking ME, per se).

    But let me throw a curve ball here…what would you say if I told you that @X also was seeking out ANYONE who was retweeting and issuing the same remark as if they were on a campaign to berate anyone who was mentioning NetSol?

  9. bremmel Avatar
    bremmel

    Interesting… but I don't think it would change my response.

    Hopefully this spammer would get tired of reading polite, well-informed responses, and just give up his campaign 🙂

  10. Shashib Avatar

    Hi Brian and Ken,

    Brian your advice is spot on and I engaged with the person as he was tweeting the same thing to anyone who retweeted this , I just told him the steps Network Solutions was taking to address the issue and I think he just gave up his campaign 🙂

    Not sure if I agree with attacking everyone who retweets something from their friends or acquaintances and i am sure you do not too. I think the engagement should be on the post that was being retweeted.

    I know I have a lot to learn and everyday is a learning experience.

    Thanks,

    Shashi

  11. Ken Yeung Avatar

    Hi Shashi,

    Please don't get me wrong as I didn't mean to bring this up as an “attack” on Network Solutions. My original intent for this blog post was to focus on the concept of a retweet NOT Network Solutions or any particular retweet issue. I just pulled this one because it was recent in my mind that highlighted the issue in question.

    However, I think your reply in regards to the Network Solutions issue is a good one – both you and Brian have provided me with some good insights.

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