Ben Ward

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I hate the whole “RT” thing. Just link to noteworthy tweets, don’t regurgitate them.

John Gruber on ‘RT’ vs. ‘via’</cite>

I still don’t ‘get’ verbatim reblogging. Linking to content, or quoting content and adding additional comment and context to that makes sense (it’s what I’m doing here), but the the ‘re-tweet’ meme is noisy and irritating. The way in which Tumblr implements re-blogging (verbatim quote of the post) is similarly clumsy, especially when you see small conversations form like a sort of pseudo-commenting.

In the case of Twitter, RT seems to be part dissemination of information (through cloning, rather than linking), but also a way of awarding karma to the person who originated it. As the flow of ‘RT @myfriend’ spreads through the network it provides exposure to the person that started it. Even so, the cloning is wrong. The web works on links, and they’re easier to scan and skip over than lengthy duplicate content. Software can more reliably strip out duplicates, too. Of course, you still credit the author in the same way.

In the case of Tumblr though, the distance between a ‘quote’ and the verbatim reproduction I protest at is small; very small.

I think what I like to see is curation and editing. If you post the same content, I’ll enjoy reading your own interpretation of that content more than my or someone else’s take in a quote. I think there’s more value from it being your own take; publishing the content in your own way.

Everything about how to quote, where to place the quote, how you introduce or title your post about the content affects reader perception and is interesting in itself.

I still haven’t nailed it down. It’s subtle. I think it boils down somewhere near don’t repost content, post _about_ content. It’s the unique insights that makes the web. Via:

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