Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 16, 2009 9:24 PM

"I'll Tweet That" Is The Ultimate Insult

UPDATE: It seems a lot of people are mis-interpreting the point of this Blog post. I was not talking about how great Twitter is to share information, pass it along and get content recognized (it is!). I was speaking, specifically, about those with Blogs, clout and community who now use Twitter to brush off people, while at the same time trying to make it sound like they are doing you a favor by exposing your content to their network. So, as always, the devil is in the details and I should have been more detailed about "who"? I was talking about below. I tried to correct it in the comments section, but decided to update it here. In any event, please do tweet, retweet and favorite any and all content that you love - I know I do... and it's one of the main reasons I love Twitter: the discovery of it all.

In the good ole' days (about six months ago), if someone found something you did interesting, they would Blog about it, talk about it, share it and explain it with everyone they knew. If they really loved what you were doing - on a consistent basis - they would add you to their Blogroll.

Now, the world has changed. Twitter has become the place to tell people when you like something. It's quick, fast and painless. And, that's the problem. Is it really a compliment when someone tweets about you, or is it the ultimate insult?

I Blogged about something brilliant and all I got was this lousy tweet.

Twitter is great, but some people forget that it is a very "live" environment. Meaning, if something is posted to Twitter but the people who are following you don't happen to be online at that, specific, time, odds are that piece of content will become nothing more than road kill on the information superhighway. Also, it's no skin off of anyone's back to tweet something that you (or anybody) has done.

It's almost a cop-out.

See, you should just be happy that anyone is mentioning anything about you at all at this point. Also, by tweeting about it, that person can legitimately claim that they are getting the "word out" without doing the real heavy lifting of writing a Blog post or dedicating more than five seconds to it.

So, what's the ultimate compliment?

It would seem like the value of a Blog post has increased which would make the value of a Blogroll link that much more impressive. If someone tweets about something you did, what they're really saying is, "this is ok. OK enough for me to put my name on it, but if I really loved it, I would Blog about it, record a video about you, etc..." A tweet does drive traffic, but it's nothing like a Blog post or a position on a Blogroll. Those are becoming increasingly harder to get and must be earned. That being said, if the content of the tweet has any real merit, people will retweet it which can - to a lesser degree - drive an immediate surge of traffic. My guess would be that the half-life of that is significantly less than the power of a formal (and permanent) Blog post.

In the end, when someone tweets about something you do, it could be the digital equivalent of calling you back and leaving a voice message when they know you're not going to be around to answer the phone.

By Mitch Joel