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.

5 thoughts on “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 Post author

    “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 Post author

    Absolutely. You could have a series of sliders:



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