There’s a lot of retweeting going on lately. This isn’t a bad thing, after all, social networking is about sharing, right? After several years of watching people tweet, I began to realize that retweets and the folks doing the retweeting, take on a type and personality all their own.
As Twitter evolves, I find myself naming the various types of tweet and retweets.
1. Vanity Retweet
We’ve discussed this here before in detail; the vanity retweet happens when you retweet something complimentary that was tweeted about you. For example, if someone tweeted “Read Deb Ng’s blog because she’s so smart and amazing” and I retweeted that, I would be vanity retweeting. It’s sort of like holding up a sign and saying, “Hey world, look! Someone paid me a compliment!” Vanity retweeters don’t usually come out looking very humble.
2. Blind Retweet
If you retweet a link without even looking to see what’s on the other end of said link, you’re giving out a blind retweet. Some folks do this because they’re retweeting a friend or a popular tweeter, and some folks do this because the title sounds like something they’d like. Still, if you’re tweeting out a link it means you’re endorsing the link, and if it’s a sucky one it can make you look bad. Best to know what you’re sharing, before sending it out to the masses.
3. Retweeting the Tribe
If you only retweet a select clique or group of friends, you’re retweeting the tribe, your own tribe. There’s nothing wrong with supporting or sharing your friends stuff as long as you truly believe it to be shareable. If you share spammy stuff all the time, folks are going to be less inclined to click on what you’re sharing. However, supporting friends is a beautiful thing.
4. Everyone Else is Retweeting and So Must I
This is when the retweeter isn’t sharing for the share, but rather because it seems to be the in thing to do. “Hey I want to be one of the cool kids and retweet this link too.”
5. The True Sharing Retweet
A true share is when there are no ulterior motives other than bringing something awesome to other people’s attention. The retweeter saw it, read it, and feels others would enjoy it as well. It’s giving for the sake of giving.
6. The Mashable Retweet
This is kind of self explanatory. It’s retweeting a Mashable link simply because it’s a Mashable link. Some retweeters have gone so far as to hook up the Mashable feed to their Twitter timelines in order to share every single post. Because it is, after all, Mashable.
7. The Topic of the Day Retweet
In which the retweeter chooses a topic or link carefully in order create a discussion within his or her community.
8. The Retweet by Request
You had no intentions of tweeting out this link. But then a friend sent you a DM or email to please help her out by sharing her blog post on your Twitter stream. If you say no, you’ll feel like a sucky friend. If you say yes, you’re sending out a link you really don’t believe is shareable.
What do you do?
9. The Back Scratching Retweeter
Ah yes, recipriocity. You tweet my link and I’ll link yours. Better yet, let’s get a whole linking, tweeting party together. Let’s all share each other’s stuff every time we post. How cool would that be?
10. The Retweet with Commentary
There’s nothing blind about this retweet. Thanks to your description, folks are knowing exactly why you’re sharing. The know if you’re looking for a discussion or just want to pass along a good share. They know if a topic makes you angry or giddy. The retweet with commentary encourages further exploration and discussion. A gift that keeps giving.
Now, you’ve been on Twitter for some time. What are some of the types of retweets you notice?