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. When a reader alights on an article, he or she gets his or her own custom-tailored tweetables . 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. Your little peccadillo stays between you and the algorithm .