Twitter has the facility to “retweet” or echo someone else’s message because you like the content. It sort of works like this.
1) I read a Twitter message that you post;
2) I think that my followers would be just as interesting in it as I am;
3) I reTweet it. The content isn’t changed but the audience may be different. Your friends who would have read the original message may be different from my friends. By reTweeting it, the message goes to a potentially different audience.
The problem is that it just passes the content around. For some, that’s OK. For some folks, that’s all that you want.
But, suppose you’d like to add to the original message. In that case, a simple reTweet may not be enough. Remember that you only have 140 characters per message. What’s a person to do?
Well, one option is to keep the original content and use that as the basis for a blog post. Certainly, many a great blog post is inspired in this fashion. However, if you had to do that for every good message that comes along, you’d be blogging forever. Sometimes, it’s just nice to add a sentence or two and then pass the information along.
For me, I’ve experimented with a number of utilities to handle this and am currently using Amplify.com to do the deed. When I find a message or a resource that I would like to share with others, I just click the previously installed Amplify button and it takes me to my “Amplog”. Hey, it’s not the first time that something Web 2.0 has spun a new term for us.
An “Amplog” opens a dialogue where the original title and original link are carried forward. In addition, an open box lets you add your comments to the page being amplified. Below, is a screen capture of an article that I read last night about student reading habits on Moodle.
I’ve added my two cents to the original message. It’s not a blog entry, but it’s also something that I didn’t want to pass by without a comment. So, I did, and the “Amplify it” button posts the message to Twitter. If anyone is intrigued by the title, they’ll be directed to this page and then the link attached sends them on to the original article for their enjoyment.
If I don’t throw in my two cents worth, I can click the check box and they’ll be directed to the original link instead of here because I had no comments to throw in.
There is another real advantage to this approach. If you’re just reTweeting messages in Twitter itself, the links are gone and you’ve got to spend a while should you ever want to return to a resource. Here, I can just return to my Amplog and every message that I’ve ever amplified is easily accessible from http://dougpete.amplify.com.
Just like Twitter in real life, you can follow other’s amplogs or others can make you an authority and follow you. I find the whole procedure a more sophisticated way to handle the great content that others share with me. For my purposes, I find it a great deal handier than just a simple reTweet.
It takes a moment to set up an account and another moment to install the button but the functionality really works for me.
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