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5 Twitter Retweet Rules

I spend a lot of time online, perhaps too much.  I read blogs and tweets and engage people wherever and whenever I can.  Using all of these methods of communications is not necessarily for me to just spout project management doctrine.  I look to share ideas to better myself and hopefully make life a little easier for others.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a lifehack, a web app, or discovering a blog.  There is a lot of cool stuff out there and every day I find and learn something new.

Once in a while something does rub me the wrong way.  It might be someone trying to pick a fight in the blog comments or maybe it’s someone flooding my Twitter stream with noise.  This weekend it was too little sleep in combination with too much Twitter noise.

As many Twitter users know, the more followers you get, the louder your megaphone.  To counter that, the more people you follow, the louder the noise.  The noise can sometimes be deafening.

I usually see the same topic cycle through my Twitter stream 4 or 5 times before I finally click on it.  What I like about this process is that it’s organic.  The link seems to increase in value the more people I listen to tweet about it.  Once it hits critical mass in my head, I check it out.

So, what’s the rub?

This weekend, I had over half a dozen people tweet the exact same thing at the same time.  My Twitter feed was momentarily flooded by people who subscribed to a website.  Rather than having people I follow retweeting the link organically, the site sent out the tweet.  That feature deprecated the value rather than increasing it.  Though we all may be fighting for positions in the stream, hoping someone will hear us, I like to follow a few simple rules.

My Twitter Retweet Rules

  1. If you read something notable and it provides value, retweet it
  2. If you read something that is not notable or does not provide value, do not retweet it
  3. If someone I trust and respect tweets something, I see value
  4. If more people I trust and respect retweet the link, I see even more value
  5. If several people tweet the exact same thing at the exact same time, all value is deprecated

Graphic: Pictofigo

About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of Enterprise Engagements at LeadingAgile. I'm super focused on results. But I also take the hand waving out of organizational transformations. I come from a traditional PM background but I don't give points for stuff done behind the scenes. The only thing that counts is what you get done and delivered. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon)

2 Responses to “5 Twitter Retweet Rules”

  1. October 13, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    These are sensible rules – but what if several people you trust and respect tweet the same thing at the same time? Your rules suggest the result would be either major appreciation or depreciation of value. Which is it for you?

    For me, it would be appreciation. I don’t penalize respected opinions just because they come at the same time. People often arrive at the same conclusions independently and simultaneously.

    • Anonymous
      October 14, 2010 at 1:11 am

      You make a very valid point. This is where I see the difference between appreciation or depreciation of value. There is a pretty good chance that people in my social circle WILL retweet the same link at some point. The value of the link appreciates in value. But, what I’ve seen happen is several people in my social circle subscribe to a site, saying they liked it. At a predefined time, the site tweets that these people like it, resulting in my Twitter feed being flooded. If the site staggered the tweets, I would see value.

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