4 thoughts on “Pre-tagging content for sharing on Twitter”

  1. Hmm. Read this just before my ride into work and I've been mulling over some ideas…

    Seems like the hashtag is sort of extraneous – as far as I can tell, bit.ly generates the same hashed link for the same source url, so that can serve as the unique identifier on twitter. No need to tag it as well – you can use the twitter API to search for that bit.ly link to seem who's "commented" on the article.

    This also solves the problem of people tweeting on their own. If they use bit.ly, or let twitter do it, it should generate the same bit.ly url and show up on the page.

    It also got me thinking about the appeal of twitter as a commenting mechanism… Our blog comments have dried up a bit lately, and I feel like it's because when people want to comment on something they just tweet about it. Why? Maybe broader readership: they know lots of people will see it. Whereas here, if I'm commenting after everyone's read this post, you might be the only one reading it! Or what if they only read the RSS? Tweeting my comment would guarantee more views.

    This sounds like an easy-ish plugin to make for WordPress, which makes me wonder if it's already out there…?

  2. One problem with tracking mentions via shortening services is that there are so many of them. As a sample of clients I have open, Tweetdeck offers bit.ly, digg, is.gd, tinyurl and tr.im (with bit.ly as the default). Twhirl offers bit.ly, digg, is.gd, twurl and snurl (with bit.ly as the default again).

    I guess the reality is that you can never discover, let alone capture all the conversations about your content.

    Your second point is really interesting. I guess when you tweet something, you have a better sense of who's going to read it – knowing your audience might make you more likely to comment; knowing that there's any audience at all would definitely have an effect.

    I wonder if a model is developing (for me, anyway) where comments on a blog post are intended for the post author, with any additional audience a side-effect; comments on twitter are for my networks.

    Have the motivations for commenting changed?

  3. My coworker Justin just pointed me to backtweets.com, which basically decodes all urls that go by on twitter and allows you to search for links to a page in almost any format. They also let you subscribe, so that seems like an easy way to integrate to the plugin idea I mentioned… For instance, here are the tweets about this post. (nearly real-time, it's picked up a tweet I made just minutes ago)

    But I agree in general: comments on the blog are no longer for the network, they're really intended for the author, or as a permanent record of an opinion. (or when you need more than 140 characters!)

  4. Using the URL as you say varies from shortening service-to-service and also doesn't solve the problem of co-joining subsequent content that is appended to the conversation.

    Another way to integrate said tweets into your postings would be to actually import them into the comment feed so that that comments section on any given blog post is more lively and tweets are preserved. I am sure there are plugins for this and should let users reply via twitter also.

    I recently found a tweet I had made about the songkick service end up on getsatisfaction.com, and because I am a songkick user it was easy enough to login and post a reply. Ease of use and added value are definitely key in that equation.

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