Monday, November 30, 2009

How to use new Tweetdeck to do TRADITIONAL retweets

The new edition of Tweetdeck -- Version 32.0 -- enables you to do traditional retweets.

There are two ways:

(a) making it a permanent setting, or

(b) choosing each time.

Since there is NEVER a time when you should use the new pseudo-retweet (See my prior aricle, "Advice: don't use Twitter's so called "retweet"!", short URL=, I strongly recommend that you choose traditional retweets as your permanent setting.


1. Go to "Settings" "Twitter".

2. Set first line to read "Retweet button should Edit before sending (Old style Retweet)"

3. Save.

(PS There's another way to do the above. The first time you're prompted to choose between the 2 kinds of RT's, click "Remember my choice" before selecting old style Retweet. In future, you won't be prompted; Tweetdeck will assume you're doing traditional RT's)


1. In "Settings" "Twitter" first line should read: "Retweet button should Always ask me"

2. Each time you want to retweet something, click retweet.

3. You will be given a choice between "Retweet Now" and "Edit then Retweet". Even if you do not plan to edit or comment, choose "Edit then Retweet" Your retweet will be a traditional retweet. [If you choose "Retweet Now" you will wind up in Twitter's "black hole" created by its fake retweet button. ]

I think it is a bit misleading to use the term "Edit then Retweet", since it implies that you should use that button only if you are planning to edit. But I'm glad Tweetdeck 32.0 supports traditional retweeting.

Thank you, Tweetdeck.

[Update 3/12/10 2:35 PM: For those of you using Seesmic Desktop as your interface, the way to do traditional retweets is to click on the "more" button instead of the fake "retweet" button, and select "quote". It's a pain, but at least there's a way to do it. -R.B.]

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Advice: don't use Twitter's so called "retweet"! #TR

My advice to all Twitter users is that you should not use what Twitter calls a "retweet".

Just pass it on by.

The true retweet is something Twitter's customers invented, and which Twitter stupidly never formalized. The true "retweet" is the life blood of Twitter, and what has set it apart from other similar "microblogging" services. [See my blog post awesomeness of retweets : ]

Here's how to do a true retweet it if you're accessing Twitter on the internet:

1. Copy and paste the message and name of person sending it to you.

2. Precede it by "RT @" [i.e. you type "RT", then a space, then a @. It's important that the @ and the name NOT have a space between them].

How true retweets work in Twitter "clients" -- i.e. applications.

If you're using Tweetdeck, Seesmic, or any of the myriad "clients" and applications which support Twitter and other microblogging platforms, they almost all provide "retweet" buttons which simply automate the above 2 steps.

If the makers of these programs are smart -- and they certainly appear to be -- they will preserve the true retweet function, even as they are forced to add Twitter's bastardized version.* Also they will quickly start supporting more and more other social media sites, in addition to Twitter (such as FriendFeed, StatusNet (, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, etc).

What's wrong with the thing Twitter mislabels a "retweet"

I don't have time to list all of the many things wrong with it; every day there are new, excellent articles coming out describing the stupidity of the product, and every day I learn of some new defective aspect of it.

My chief objections are:
(1) you can't insert a comment or start a conversation;
(2) you can't edit;
(3) instead of showing your avatar, it shows the avatar of the original tweeter, which might be someone the recipient doesn't know or have any relationship with;
(4) it prevents you from seeing multiple versions with different comments from different people;
(5) if someone retweets you, you will never know that they did, unless you go to the internet interface of Twitter, go to your home page, go to the Retweets column, and scroll through unsortable page after page of entries;
(6) if you retweet someone, they may never learn that you did, unless they go through the same process on their internet interface home page that you have to go through to find out if you've been retweeted;
(7) your so called "retweets" won't show up in Tweetdeck or any other Twitter "clients" or applications*;
(8) to the extent your identity is recognized at all in Tweetdeck, the recipient can't reply to you, or retweet you, or DM you, and may not even be able to verify your user name which appears in hazy type at the bottom of the tweet;
(9) it prevents conversation.

I.e., it takes the "social" out of "social media". It eliminates conversation and interaction, insists on blind rubber stamping, prevents you from letting your friend know you've honored them, and prevents you from knowing your friends have honored you. And it removes any clear indication of your identity to your own friends. Idiocy.

One of the primary uses of the traditional retweet is not as a simple "retweet" at all, but to start or continue a conversation, with 2, 3, sometimes even 4 or 5 people participating in a single tweet. Twitter management -- consorting as it does with the moneyed interests and "social media experts" who never get to enjoy such conversations -- appear to be oblivious to their very existence. Here are a couple of examples from some wonderful conversationalists who use "retweets" as conversation:

Can't you tell that the people who engage in such conversations are having the most fun of all on Twitter? They are absolutely the coolest communicators here.

Twitter's management doesn't get it. They're too important for that. They think a retweet is for the purpose of repeating some genius's isolated statement spoken in a vacuum to a vacuum, to be broadcast into an abyss.

People who tweet without these lively conversations are, to me, the saddest thing on Twitter. Twitter's pseudo retweet discourages -- actually makes impossible -- such interaction.

Why did Twitter do this?

I'm guessing it had to do with helping the "paying" customers -- celebrities, social media professionals, corporations, major news media -- who never retweet anyone, but are frequently retweeted by others. Their visibility will be enhanced, and Twitter's ability to sell us to them as "faces" and "impressions" will be enhanced. Meanwhile our interactivity with our friends is shattered, and our visibility to our friends is removed.

Even the "paying" customers -- for whose benefit this was done -- are being screwed. The Twitter they're paying for isn't the one they bought into.

What about other microblogging sites?

Since Twitter has basically given up its competitive edge by ruining the retweet, I recommend exploring the many other microblogging services, such as StatusNet (, friendfeed, etc. I personally am looking closely at friendfeed and StatusNet ( at the moment.

Right now we can probably do what I mentioned for the internet interfaces in most of those microblogging services as well. [E.g. FriendFeed has a "share" function. If you click that, it copies and pastes the post. Then at the beginning put in "RT @username", and you'll have a traditional retweet. Now if FF is smart they'll add a button which inserts "RT @username" automatically, and then you'll have a 1-step retweet like Tweetdeck, & most other applications, provide.]

Most likely some of those services will be smart enough to recognize Twitter's huge misstep, and will quickly implement formal "retweets" of their own, retweets which will embody the attributes of the true retweet rather than Twitter's joke version. [Note: Twitter, like all companies which are poorly managed and then try to make up for their business mistakes by resort to litigation, will no doubt try to force their competitors to use terms other than "retweet", probably claiming some trademark although Twitter itself has never even used the term until now. So just be on the lookout for the other microblogging services to use some alternative terminology for it.]

Also the desktop applications makers will no doubt be supporting more of the other microblogging services as well, and will be adding retweet buttons for all of them.


This is my advice:

1. Don't use Twitter's so called retweet function.... ever. (Unless you want to disappear into a black hole, in which case it would be easier to just stop "microblogging" altogether).

2. Use genuine retweets only.

3. Explore other microblogging services, and do traditional retweeting in them. If those sites or applications develop traditional retweet capabilities, then use them.

4. Use the hashtag #saveretweets when tweeting about this subject, and let Twitter management know that they should have spoken to their customers before ruining something.... just so they'll have a better understanding of how things work in the business world when they report for their next jobs, after Twitter has gone out of business.

* Update 2:07 PM ET, 12/26/09. In Tweetdeck vers. 32.*, the "new retweets" do show up in stream with 2 half sized avatars, 1 of the original tweeter, 1 of the last retweeter, and in latest verions have RT'g person's name in small hazy type at bottom of tweet. The avatar of the last retweeter and the name are for show only, however. You can't do anything with them other than squint at them. If you click them, you get no information about the retweeter, and you can't use them for RT'g, replying, DM'g, adding to a list, or anything else.

More importantly, Tweetdeck vers. 32.* has made it easy for you to configure it so that your retweets will by default be traditional, real retweets.

* Update 9:11 AM ET, 2/5/10. The recent Shorty Awards voting demonstrates the problem. Apparently votes lodged by the "fake retweet" button weren't counted, since the tweet had no identity -- URL -- of its own.

*Update 5:18 PM ET, 3/12/10. Seesmic desktop's "retweets" are the bad kind. But you can do a traditional retweet by going through a few extra clicks: click "more" then click "quote" and you'll be able to do a traditional retweet. Unlike Tweetdeck, Seesmic is not yet offering a means of configuring it to default to traditional -- rather than bastardized -- retweets, so you'll have to go through this exercise each time.

Update 9:43 PM ET, 4/7/10. One of Twitter's most successful accounts, shitmydaysays, just joinedr StatusNet (

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Help wanted: 13,000th Follower

Salary: none

Benefit: Opportunity to make nice new friends from all over the world

Generosity of spirit is required.

Intelligence and humor are preferred, since I am weak in both of those departments, but are not essential.

No right-wingers, bullies, corporatists, dictators, arguers, or other meanies need apply.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

How to make a twitter list

Take all the people you know on Twitter.

Divide them up into those you like and those you don't really care about.

Take the ones you like, and then divide them up into categories and characteristics.

Then put each into a pigeonhole.

Then take all those in a particular pigeonhole, and make them into a list.

This will take a lot of time, and will reduce each person you know into a handy set of characteristics instead of a human being.

(You may wonder why this is valuable. If so, that's because you're not in the marketing or advertising industry. If that's the case... off you go, into my "Non-advertising & Non-marketing" list.)

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My invaluable advice to marketers about Twitter lists

Marketers are intensely interested in #twitterlists; so I will give them my valuable guidance on the subject.

Coolest list to be on:

Least cool list to be on:

List of least value to marketers:

List with highest percentage of losers:

You may see a lot of other "important" articles giving you "lists" of ways to make money from Twitter lists, telling you which lists are the "cool" ones, and other similar advice. Just ignore them. What do they know?

No need to thank me. Don't even mention it. I love sharing my legendary knowledge of how to make money.

[Update 11/9/09 12:51 PM BREAKING: I just discovered an important new list which is at least tied with @Shelley_Rae 's "My Bitches" list in coolness.... @DeliaChristina 's all important "Dudes Who Don't Annoy Me" list. This list includes not only myself, but also our distinguished President @BarackObama. Since it is quite rare to find someone whom I do not annoy, and since this list includes me, I will have to consider it the coolest Twitter list, that is unless and until I become an honorary member of the "My Bitches" list. ~R.B.]

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who is the "guru" of Twitter? for me it's @BuzzEdition

Admittedly there is no such thing as a single guru of Twitter; there are lots of people with lots of different ways of doing things.

But if I were looking for a "guru", I'd bypass anyone who calls him or her self a "guru" or maven or expert, or anything like that.

Especially is this so in the world of "social media", where nobody really knows what they're doing, it's all moving so fast. Twitter always has been, and still is, about 12 steps behind its customers.

If I were looking for a "guru", I would look among the modest, the humble, the self-deprecating folks, who would never call themselves a guru, and who recognize the enormity of it all, and their own limitations as human beings, and who quietly go about doing their thing in their way.

There I would find the person I consider the true "guru" of Twitter.... Susan Elaine, @BuzzEdition.

(She will probably kill me for having written this, but what the heck. I like to live dangerously.)

Susan teaches by example that what Twitter is about is the same thing life is about: caring about other people.

We've all seen Twitter users who prattle on, and are all about themselves. Those people just don't get out of the Twitter experience what it truly has to offer.

I don't know much about Susan's personal life, but I know from being her friend on Twitter that she has a real powerful maternal instinct: she just cares about other people.

Twitter for me is about treasuring and cherishing and enjoying what is special in others, and sharing the treasures with your other friends.

On Twitter as in life, as you sow, so shall you reap; as you give, so shall you receive.

No one on Twitter better exemplifies that than Susan.

That is why she has so many friends here, who would do anything for her.

Thank you, Susan, for being my "guru".

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bush probably would have lost 2004 election if we'd had Twitter then

We have recently been joined on Twitter by my wonderful friend Susan Truitt -- @Susan_Truitt -- from Ohio.

Susan was one of the great leaders of the resistance to the Ohio 2004 election fraud. I first met her in person on January 6, 2005, the day on which Congress met in joint session to debate the seating of the sham Ohio electors, a day which also represented the culmination of the historic Freedom Winter Bus Ride from Columbus, OH, to Washington, DC (See music video "Get Up on the Bus" by hip hop artist Wil B, who I believe coined the phrase "the political power of hip hop").

Susan's being here inspires me to imagine how Twitter would have changed things, had it been in existence on election day 2004.

During the 2004 presidential election hundreds of thousands of Ohioans, mostly black people, college students, and people who lived in poorer areas, were disenfranchised, by a panoply of vile tactics too numerous to itemize here. (My blog Ohio Election Fraud enumerates many of them, and provides links to books and dvd's for further study.)

The then Secretary of State of Ohio, Republican Kenneth Blackwell, whose sworn duty it was to uphold the integrity of the elections, was also the head of the Bush reelection efforts, and did everything he could to dishonor his oath of office in order to get Bush reelected.

In the months leading up to the election he engaged in numerous shenanigans, such as rejecting voter registrations not printed on a certain thickness of paper, illegally removing people from the voter rolls, refusing to respond to requests for polling place information from voters, refusing to confirm registrations, wholesale changing of polling place locations without lawful notice to the voters, and deliberate stockpiling of voting machines to ensure that poor areas, black areas, and college and university areas would be grossly underserved for processing of the inordinately complex ballot he and his cronies had cooked up that year. He had likewise "overlooked" things like distribution of leaflets giving incorrect polling place information, and gangs of Republican thugs planning to swoop down on the polling places in those same areas.

A large number of people, like attorney Susan Truitt, served on election day as poll watchers.

From the moment the polls opened, until long after they were supposed to have closed, innumerable horrors were visited upon the good people of Ohio.

Had these occurred in New York or Los Angeles there would have been rioting in the streets.

Because it happened in the sedate, understated, polite State of Ohio, such rioting did not occur.

And had the good people of New York or Los Angeles learned that the outcome of their presidential election had been determined by such fraud, there would have been rioting in the streets. That's where the "media" came in, to make sure that LA and New York and Detroit and Chicago and Philadelphia and places like that never found out.

The corporate media took it as their mission to ensure that word did NOT get out. And they deliberately falsely reported to the world that everything had gone smoothly in Ohio with a few "minor glitches" which the people of Ohio took "in good stride". As everyone who was in Ohio that day, or who read and watched local media in Ohio, knew, nothing could have been further from the truth.

The mainstream media "hatchetmen" reported fully on the election fraud which had happened in the Ukraine that year, but stealthily and concertedly maintained 'radio silence' about the even worse fraud that had occurred in the United States.

Although most people in Ohio were aware of the total sham the election had been there, the vast majority of people outside of Ohio have never had a clue.

If Susan, and others like her, had been armed with a smart phone and twitter, I submit.... the outcome would have been very different.

In Youngstown, Ohio, in Mahoning County, for example, the internet email joke of touch screen voting machines where a voter would press "Kerry" and wind up having voted "Bush", wound up coming true.

Starting at 6 AM, voters using touchscreen voting machines who attempted to vote for "Kerry" had their votes automatically switched to "Bush".

It was first reported at about 6:05 AM, and it continued to be reported throughout the day, until late at night. I.e. the machines that were doing this were never taken out of service or repaired, they were allowed to continue "fixing" the election all day long.

Had voters been equipped with flip videos or smart phones, they could have documented the touchscreen debauchery, as well as other violations.

Had poll watchers had a smart phone with twitter, and possibly flip videos or even ordinary digital cameras, they would have been able to take pictures and videotape interviews with the cheated voters, and could have immediately tweeted them. By 6:10 AM the entire world would have known what was happening in Ohio, and #Ohio would have been the trending topic on Twitter throughout the day.

It would have been politically impossible for Kerry to have conceded at 10 in the morning the day after the election, because the entire world would have known of the massive fraud.

I think citizen journalism has now arrived.

The days of the mainstream media suppressing the truth are ending.

And Twitter is one of the things we have to thank for that.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Twitter offline due to denial of service attack

According to this report on Slashdot, Twitter's outage was the result of a denial of service attack.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Twitter knows nothing about Spam

Twitter is clueless. It doesn't know what "spam" is.

In order to prevent 'spam' in its tweets, it adopted a secret policy of 'filtering' accounts which tweet the same URL more than once within a certain secret time period. It never told people about this policy, so we couldn't have tried to comply with it.

Because I was passionate about keeping people up to date on the protests by indigenous people in Peru over the Peruvian government's attempt to destroy the rainforest, and had a collection of links on the subject which I was updating and reused, I was 'filtered out'.

For a month and a half a search for my account name "raybeckerman" would reveal none of my tweets, and a search for my name in "Find People" would not reveal the "raybeckerman" account.

To this day, I remain "filtered out".

Meanwhile, the whole 'solution' Twitter offered was ridiculous and unnecessary. Twitter accounts do not receive any tweets that are unsolicited. The only people who are burdened with reading my tweets are people who VOLUNTARILY follow me. Any of them who feel that they don't want to receive my tweets, just UNFOLLOW me.

Problem solved.

So Twitter created a solution to a non-problem.

Meanwhile it has a very very real spam problem which is making it more and more painful to be a Twitter member. The one thing Twitter members do receive unsolicited is "followers".

There is a major problem with the huge number of fake accounts. Out of every 10 accounts which follow me, probably 75% are spam accounts. So it has become a hugely time consuming task for the "real people" on Twitter to figure out which "followers" they wish to "refollow".

And Twitter doesn't have a clue what to do with this very real problem, which is the real threat to Twitter at this time.

Ray's 2.0

Web 1.0 was where corporations thought the internet was another dandy platform for telling us what they wanted us to know.

Web 2.0 was where we showed them that the internet is about us, not them, and that if they want to stay around, they'd better sit back, shut up, and listen.

Web 2.0, like Rock and Roll, is here to stay.

This blog will be about my thoughts on social media. With emphasis on the "social".