Prêt-à-twitter and the bespoke tweet


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-àtwitter, 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-àtwitter 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].

This post is an installment in Rough Type’s ongoing series “The Realtime Chronicles,” which began here. A full listing of posts can be found here.


Filed under Realtime

5 Responses to Prêt-à-twitter and the bespoke tweet

  1. Darklamp

    HAHAHA… you are brilliant! I love your satire and commentary. I can see you are having so much fun in-tweeting that it probably makes you giddy. Now… how do I in-tweet my comments???

  2. grizzlymarmot

    You are not actually expecting me to visit the web page of the article. I’d like my tweets to be tweeted simultaneously with the article. I hate it when my comments are a week late. It makes feel so latent.

  3. Nick

    “You are not actually expecting me to visit the web page of the article.”

    Yeah, you’re right. That’s still too onerous. I guess what we need is a full-blown tweetbot.

  4. CS Clark

    I think you need some kind of granular control, so people can choose a position between orthodox and heterodox that suits them. Who wants to be the guy that keeps tweeting the most boring, obscure bits from the least-read articles just to look cool? Who wants to be the gal who unknowingly displays her mainstream, Madison Avenue, plastic fantastic buttoned-down life through her taste in snippets?

  5. Nick

    Absolutely. You could have a series of sliders: