The Science of Retweeting: An Experimental Blog Post

RETWEETAfter spending some time away from Twitter and blogging, its been fun to come back and try to examine the major changes. One of the differences is the heavy amount of retweeting that is done daily.  Another noticeable change is that many educators have huge amounts of followers.  Of course, much of this is directly influenced by the sheer growth of educators in our Personal Learning Networks, but there may be more to it then that.  I’m interested to find out the correlation between retweeting and the major increase in followers as well as why other people retweet (RT) so often.

I want to attempt a crowdsourced blog post.  I have never done this before so it’s a bit of an experiment.  It would be great if you answered the following question in the comments. I will continue to edit this blog and add your reasons into the list below.

If you think your reason is something important to the discussion but you don’t want your name revealed because it may be controversial or bring unecessary attention to you, then I completely understand.  Feel free to post anonymous/pseudonym comments. However, I will credit you and link to your blog post/ Twitter name if you leave it in the comments. After the list is completed, I will repost it and send it out to our network.

Why do you Retweet?

  1. To share good information
  2. Identify interesting people to follow – @GeofferyKehrig
  3. To send it out to a different group of people than the original tweeter did, so more people get the message (reach a wider audience). @connect2Jamie write Books and Bytes and @jneman@tgwynn
  4. To help expand the network- @geraldaungst who writes Quisitivity
  5. Because sometimes others have a better way to say what I may be thinking  @rgriffithjr
  6. To give credit to those that deserve it – @amandacdykes who writes Upside Down Ed and @rgriffithjr
  7. To refocus on a given topic – Colin Graham, moderator of Mathchat
  8. Let someone know you are paying attention to them and laying the groundwork for future contact – Alex
  9. Do not have enough time to research on own so want to honor those that are by retweeting – David Fleming – @amandacdykes
  10. To get people’s attention – @4thGradeTeach who writes Blogging through the 4th Dimension
  11. To give a standing ovation – @digiblu
  12. Make sure others  know I am still around – @wmchamberlain
  13. To archive what I may or may not bookmark – Joe Fahs who writes Teaching and Learning with Technology
  14. To honor a great professional – @mtrump who writes Trump Talk

Ingrid Veilleux, appropriately enough, quoted/retweeted a funny statement that seems like a great way to end this experimental blog post:

“To tweet is human, to retweet, divine”

20 thoughts on “The Science of Retweeting: An Experimental Blog Post

  1. When you retweet something that you think is worth sharing, you are sending it out to a different group of people than the original tweeter did, so more people get the message. I suppose that when you retweet, the person you retweeted might be more likely to follow you, but that’s not really the reason that I do it. It’s kind of like a virtual shout out of support!

  2. I RT to share good information with others in my PLN that might not follow that person. Hopefully they will RT to get the information/blog/article to a wider audience.

  3. Another reason that I RT something is to help let people who follow me know about interesting people I follow–it expands the network. (@geraldaungst on Twitter)

  4. I retweet bc I am a bad writer and get extremely excited when someone writes something I like or agree with. I feel the need to share. Never even think about anything else. I RT bc it gives credit to original author It creates the correct MeMe. Also i’m so busy and nonstop 24/7 I don’t get a chance to research information so most new info I find is from my PLN and I love to pass it on.

  5. I retweet to further a statements reach. It helps to extend one’s voice by echoing it across another sect of twitter. Someone may have a great resource, profound statement, or need some help. They shouldn’t be limited to just their followers so I like to get mine involved as well. It helps bring a bigger crowd to crowdsourcing.

  6. With #mathchat starting up, RT is going to be an important responsibility of the moderators (one of whom will be me!) to recycle views expressed earlier in the discussion, and possibly to refocus on the chosen topic.
    Otherwise, I just RT to share… 🙂

  7. I agree with Amanda – I don’t have the time necessarily to find awesome resources all the time, so I want to pass along that information. Also, RT’s are a nice way of letting someone know you’re paying attention to what they’re saying, laying groundwork for future contact and connection.

  8. RT @Amandacdykes I retweet bc I am a bad writer and get extremely excited when someone writes something I like or agree with. I feel the need to share. Never even think about anything else. I RT bc it gives credit to original author It creates the correct MeMe. Also i’m so busy and nonstop 24/7 I don’t get a chance to research information so most new info I find is from my PLN and I love to pass it on.

  9. I reweet for all the same resaons as listed above and also to start a new discussion within my PLN. A retweet is kind of like holding up a sign and saying, “Wow, did you see this?”

  10. I retweet mostly for #1 and #3 — to get the word out. My twitter stuff is mostly activism (lgbt/atheism) with a side of education (my wife is one of you crazies) and a bit of marketing (safaridad.com/yptmtc.org). Most of the people who follow me may not be hardcore equality activists and may not hear about important stuff. I follow the real serious folks and pass on the best to the people who follow me.

    The KRXQ incident (http://glaadblog.org/2009/06/01/sacramento-based-radio-hosts-defame-advocate-violence-against-transgender-children/) is a great example of using twitter in a phone-tree-like way to get the word out. (Radio show shock jocks made bad jokes; people passed the word via twitter/blogs; big advertisers pulled out; radio station took notice.)

    Another example is the Prop 8 trial — I followed the twitter feeds pretty closely (lots of them; still do) — but only passed on the best/most significant ones to my followers who may not have been paying as much attention.

  11. For me a RT is the equivalent of a standing ovation asking for an encore. I RT when I’m so struck by the idea or the phrasing that I want to make sure others saw it. As a reader, sometimes I don’t click on a link or take special note of a comment unless I see it retweeted a few time, so I RT to emphasize an idea.

  12. PS I RT mostly during the fast paced conversation of #edchat to make sure that idea is emphasized.

  13. Sometimes I rt simply because I am spending time lurking, but I want others to know I am still around. Kind of like the quiet kid in class that makes eye contact once a day so you know he/she is still around.

  14. I retweet to share exciting and useful information that I think others will appreciate. It is also a way of recognizing someone that I am following. Finally, it is a way of archiving what I may or may not bookmark.

  15. When I first started out on Twitter, I RTed a lot because I was so inspired by other’s tweets and what they had to say that I felt just had to share (even though I only had like 15 followers at the time) I also didn’t feel like I had a lot to contribute so I focused more on getting to know the people I was RTing. Now I don’t do it as often but when I do, it’s because I know I have followers that would not get the information otherwise and want to share + give the tweeter credit so he/she can be followed by those outside the network. I’m not only sharing a resource or idea by a RT, I’m also sharing a great professional to follow for others.

  16. My fave saying (don’t know who came up with it) on this topic is
    To tweet is human, to re-tweet, divine.

    I often retweet if I’m about to bookmark something. I figure if I would want to refer back to it, others might be interested too.

  17. I retweet to be the information filter for my readers and followers.- @langwitches

  18. I know most of the members that follow me and what areas may interest them. I share info that I find interesting and want to pass along to members who follow me because I see the value they may find in that information as well! Share and Share alike!

    I also tend to notice popular topics in my stream based on the RT’s and if it is repeated often. It catches my eye much more easily!

    Tim Nielsen (@teach1tech)

  19. For me, RT is a visual-learner exercise. Remember those old TV commercials for Breck shampoo that started with one woman who told two people, who told two people, etc. This is how I picture RT. Before too long, there are hundreds or thousands of people ‘in the know’.

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