Do Retweets Matter?

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Sometime ago I spoke at London Blog Club about value-based blogging. It’s an approach that values each participation that someone makes on the blog, and seeks to increase that participation by placing value on each person, as opposed to a volume approach that is more about generating large numbers of retweets and likes.

Not surprisingly, there was some crticism. This post from Lucy Hewitt highlights her disagreements, which tend to revolve around the needs of blogs that have low levels of participation but higher levels of just plain consumption.

So my question today to you is: do retweets matter to you?

For me, I can happily have 30 comments on a post and really see valued added to people, with only a handful (say 10) retweets. I see engagement of that kind, and the engagement that I have with many of you away from the blog, as being of far greater long term benefit that a messily click of a retweet mouse.

This isn’t to say that retweets don’t matter for say campaigns that seek to spread their news as far as they want – but that volume approach is just not necessary for me.

Your Leading Thoughts

  • Do retweets matter to you? Why?
  • What is the effect of “one click participation” on our internet population?

Photo by Rosaura Ochoa

Archived Comments

  • http://www.sytaylor.net sytaylor

    I can only really answer this as someone who participates. As such, a comment driven blog is much more likely to have me post. I find myself hesitating to post somewhere as crowded as Chrisbrogan.com but somewhere with a community that is healthy and tangible… Different story. That’s because I feel like my comments would get lost in Chris’ site, despite his ability to trawl for quality. Everyone is after his attention there.

    Scott, you’re a master of making it about the people on your blog. I admire that.

    Re-tweets are a means to an end, but not an effective measure of community.

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey mate

    Admittedly, like you’re saying, a value based approach runs at a higher level of participation and therefore we must provide lower levels as well. BUt glad you enjoy the community here! :-)

  • http://stephenbateman.com/connect Anonymous

    I’m with you, places with 100+ comments are not worth jumping into, for me as well.

  • http://stephenbateman.com/connect Anonymous

    Retweets are good for short term traffic. Meaningless for long term engagement.

    So if we are here for the long term, and really want to create lasting community, then retweets aren’t worth getting excited about.

    Let’s go Pareto on this and hypothesize that 80% of impact is had on 20% of the audience (ie the core). Is it worth caring about how the other 20% of the impact is dished out?

  • / Scott Gould

    Totally -just junk thinking!

  • http://www.facebook.com/DelfinVassallo Delfin Vassallo

    Retweets do matter if what you want is just create buzz, but definitely share of voice doesn’t mean that a lot of voices share your point of view, if they are just sheep herds following each other in circles.

    Tons of ‘Likes’ that don’t really know what they’re ‘liking’/retweeting? Could that really be considered engagement?

    Spaces where individual opinions are valued for what they actually are: individual thinkers, are not so many. But if you manage to make your fans-followers-likers feel valued for what they say (and you are a master in this) for sure you earn not only their engagement but their loyalty. But this 1:1 relationship seems to be still too far for major brands, hmmm

    BTW I see you know Rosaura! A great thinker and thought leader to be considered for a possible LikeMinds Mexico :o )

  • / Scott Gould

    Delfin you’re right – for spreading and buzzing, retweets are necessary. But they offer little depth or long term value. I would agree with you that a lot of it isn’t even engagement.

    Re: Rosaura – yes – we’re building up our international powers… :-)

  • http://gearboxmagazine.com Brian Driggs

    I would agree with what Sy and Stephen had to say.

    1. I really enjoy how “Scott Gould and Friends” ends up being more like “Friends and Scott Gould.” My participation here is inspiring me to get more active in conversations in the comments in addition to (if not moreso than) in conversations with the author.

    2. To this day, I don’t think I’ve spent more than fifteen minutes combined on any of the big name, Hyper-Blogs. Scoble, Brogan, Godin, Rowse – I scarcely even visit these sites, because, to put it in local terms, “One Successful Guy and a Thousand Sycophants.” Not interested.

    As for RTs, I think the value depends on the reason behind the RT. If it’s done to help someone else, it’s valuable. If it’s done to gain attention, it’s not. Really, though, it’s a bit moot. I think more important is the conversations around how we can work together.

    If you’re blogging to generate traffic and make money, I think you’re doing it wrong.

  • / Scott Gould

    Thanks Brian :-)

    There are of course valuable retweets – like when someone custom writes a tweet points to a post – but this doesn’t happen all that much with twitter-fodder

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