More Debate about Retweet Free Week

Retweet Free Week (#RTFreeWeek) is on day three and welcome to it, not that anyone but a few Zombies noticed. Still, several still aren’t quite on board with the whole “original content” even if it’s just for seven days. Our addiction to the retweet — even partially allowed — still baffles some. Take Rich Quigley, with whom I’ve been having a conversation via Twitter:

 

[box type=”note” style=”rounded” icon=”http://michaelcheek.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/twitter-icon-24.png”]RichQuigley

@RichQuigley Rich Quigley

Regarding the retweet ban…

I’m not so sure about that. I think that’s the way great content circulates and finds an audience. It’s what the social network excels at — using ones social graph for content filtration. A great idea is spread through a retweet (or RT)… and as well some not so great ideas. And, I’m also guilty to a degree of automating… let me explain.

Each morning I read 10-20 articles and will share 10 a day — just the stuff I find really useful to what I’m working on at the moment. Once upon a time, I tweeted them all out in the span of an hour in the morning. I started to gain a following for doing so, but had complaints that it was too much to digest and that I was clogging up people’s Twitter feed.

I now buffer my tweets with @bufferapp. This way I don’t bombard people’s feeds.

So, that’s the automated part, which allows me the time for some legit engagement (because I work 10 hrs a day, so I have to be efficient about it!).

I commend you for starting a movement. I think that’s great, but I happen to love the RT. It brings me lots of great content and hopefully spreads some good stuff that I’ve shared as well.

If I’ve misunderstood this, please set me straight![/box]

Using automation, on their own, isn’t bad. Using retweets, on their own, isn’t bad. However, when it becomes excessive, then we have an issue.

I wrote recently about @TwitCleaner, a terrific tool that filters out the real people from the Zombies. One of the categories for it: “Nothing but retweets.” What I’m attempting to say and I might not be getting across is there are people out there who do nothing but RT, all day, every day. There’s a category for “nothing but quotes” and “nothing but links.”

Now I chose Retweet Free Week prior to even finding @TwitCleaner but my impression came from reading the same damn thing on my feed from everyone. When Cisco dropped the Flip Cam, good grief if everyone didn’t post that. But I got no context from anyone. Everyone just linked to Mashable or some other tech coverage I was already following. Come on. Did any of the retweeters have a Flip Cam? I wanted a reason why it would have an impact on social media. I wanted someone to say this would hurt YouTube or vlogs.

I just want a little something.

Rich (I hope you don’t mind me calling you that), now that I follow you (and respect you), when you retweet your 10 items everyday, why would you want me to read them? Is there a reason? You’re in Los Angeles, I’m in Georgia. I’m looking forward to learning from you and I need to understand what it is that you find so interesting about the 10 articles you’ve decided are important enough to send along.

As for @BufferApp and Buffer, with it’s capability to extend out tweets throughout your day when you’re not online, I think it’s a terrific concept and, if I were someone like you who pushed a lot of tweets at once, I probably would also use it.

The other great thing about you, though, Rich, is you engage. We’re have a conversation via Twitter. Do you know how few people do that?

Retweet Free Week is one week where folks are asked to keep all your content original too much? Don’t just hit a button and keep it completely automated. Make an effort to write a little something. One week to show the Twitterverse you’re human. Just one week out of 51. The rest of the time, dehumanize and just RT the way you normally would.

Am I asking too much, really?

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Michael Cheek

With more than 20 years of communication experience, Michael Cheek offers solid marketing expertise, especially in the digital frontier. He currently resides in Georgia but he's open to relocate anywhere the opportunities take him. Learn more at http://MichaelCheek.com. You can follow him on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/MichaelCheek and see more about his professional experience at http://LinkedIn.com/in/MichaelCheek. Reach him via e-mail at mcheek@gmail.com.

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