The art of retweet : be fair, cite the author !

When I read an interesting tweet, I just sometimes push the retweet button. I would like to share another way to retweet, as it is not so common on Twitter.. and as I think this is a cool way !

          First… read the article. Does it really worth to be retweeted ? Okay that sounds obvious, but have you not ever retweeted without actually reading the whole stuff before? ;

          Find the author of the article on Twitter . Make sure it is actually the author – not a homonym! Look at bio, website and tweets. Sometime it is not so obvious. Copy the name of the account.

          Re-write the original tweet by putting some short personal input (comment, thought).  Leave the original title of the article.

          Cite the author of the article, using “by @NameOnTwitter”

          Insert the shortened URL and cite the original twitterer as usual, with “RT (or via) @NameOnTwitter”. You can read this article on the power of “via” instead of “RT” : There’s a Better Way to ReTweet! by @milestinsley

          Keep 20 free characters to facilitate retweets.

By this way, you make a connection with the author of the tweet as well as with the author of the article. You might sometimes be followed or thanked by both of them – a simple RT would usually just connect with the twitterer, not the original author. Do not bother if nothing happens: it is not the main reason why you retweet, just an occasional extra.

Here you have another occasion to engage with somebody you think his / her content has some value. Do you often get in touch with journalists or bloggers In Real Life ? It is a cool way to use Twitter.  Actually I don’t really make a difference between Twitter and real-life professional contacts: both add some value to my network.

When you meet somebody, let’s say at a conference, sometimes you do not exchange much more that a couple of 140 characters sentences, then business cards and that’s it. On Twitter at least you keep in touch through streams.

What do you think ? How do you retweet ?