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MT: Mountain or Molehill

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In the Twitterverse, RT means ReTweet and MT means Modified Tweet. So, what makes a tweet modified and when should it be used? Good question so glad you asked. Since I learned about Modified Tweets, which is a higher level of Twitter etiquette, I’ve tried to use them whenever appropriate. To start, I’ll give you an example of when an I would have appreciated an MT instead of an RT.

Back when I attended Blog Her Food 2012 in Seattle, I attended a very interesting and provocative morning keynote entitled: The Intersection of Brands, Bloggers, Ethics and Opportunities. As with the rest of the conference, I used the tweets from Twitter account for my food blog @kitchenettefind  as a way to keep shorthand notes of thoughts and quotes I found insightful, useful or thought-provoking. It was an excellent way to interact with other attendees without being disruptive and to keep track of what was going on in the other areas of the conference as many people were tweeting throughout.

Though there were many interesting moments and thoughts, it seemed that Alicia McGlamory from Masterbuilt (makers of fryers, grills and smokers) stirred up the most controversy. She was representing the point of view of brands that are often approached by food bloggers and she generated quite  a strong response in the room and on Twitter. One of my tweets that quoted Alicia got a small reaction as well.

When @mizmaggieb quoted my tweet she took out “your blog”, but she also took out the original quote attribution to @Masterbuilt (Alicia McGlamory’s corporate Twitter handle). Now, all the people in the room with us knew that these were not my words. But, given that @mizmaggieb has more than 6 times the followers that @kitchenettefind has, there would be a lot of people who would read her re-tweet of my mangled quote and assume they were my words. Now this is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, or even in the little petty plan of things, but if you want to make friends in the Twitterverse treat their words with respect and acknowledge when they’ve been edited.

When should MT be used instead of RT? Anytime the re-tweeter shortens, replaces, corrects or inserts anything into the original tweet. That way, if you have changed the meaning in any way (intentionally or not) you are taking responsibility for the adjustment. I use it all the time when I’m shortening a tweet so I can re-share it with an addition or if I’m only interested in part of the tweet. I also sometimes add hashtags or remove links or other Twitter handles. The MT also lets other Twits know to check the source material (i.e. the original tweet) before they take the quote as verbatim.

The strength of the online community is based on respect and the etiquette that we create and conform to as a group. I will always use MT when it is appropriate to show my consideration for other’s words, thoughts and ideas.

Have you been RT’ed when you should  have been MT’ed? Do you or will use MT?

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