A quick afterthought on that last post: I still think that the inline tweet is the future, but it strikes me that the currently emerging method of inline tweeting, which I have taken to calling prêt-à-twitter, is far from ideal. Who wants to get caught tweeting the same lousy tweet that everyone else is tweeting? It’s tacky. I mean: Attention, Wal-Mart Shoppers!
No, it just won’t do. We need to go, as quickly as possible, from prêt-à-twitter to the bespoke tweet. Here’s how I imagine it working: a publication captures personal data on its readers’ habits and literary/intellectual/political sensibilities (or procures said data from Facebook or maybe Twitter itself), and then, using some kind of simple text-parsing algorithm, it personalizes the inline tweets that are offered to each reader. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]When a reader alights on an article, he or she gets his or her own custom-tailored tweetables[/inlinetweet]. That gives the reader a little distinctiveness in the marketplace of ideas. It’s also much more discreet. With bespoke inlines, you’re not broadcasting the fact that you didn’t actually read the piece you’re tweeting. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Your little peccadillo stays between you and the algorithm[/inlinetweet].