Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Thursday, 19 September 2013

How to remember who tweeted that article when you want to give them credit later

Fairly often someone will tweet, or retweet, a link to an article. I'll click on the link and have it open in a tab all day until reading it later. By that point I've probably forgotten who it was that sent it.

While I could just tweet it out myself I prefer to say where it came from if I can. Not just out of British politeness but because others might be interested in following the people who initially shared it*.

Use search to find out who shared the link
All you have to do is take the address of the article you're reading, paste it into Twitter's search box and see who's tweeted it. You can select 'People you follow' to limit it a bit. If your friend has RTed someone else tweet then you'll not see your friend listed. You'll have to click on likely looking tweets to see how often it's been RTed and by whom and if you're in luck you'll spot your friend there and can add in a 'via @name' to your own tweet.

If there are too many or it doesn't show up, then that's the time to admit defeat and just send it out yourself. But I occasionally see people say 'I can't remember who posted this' and I thought I'd share how to find out. Mind you, if something's popular and being retweeted by loads of people then... just post it and don't worry about it!

a) This is more generally useful for monitoring your website of course
Hopefully this also flags up, to anyone who might not have considered it yet, that you can search for your organisation's website (or your blog URL etc) and see what people are saying about it. You don't even need to have the full URL. If you search on Twitter for brodiesnotes you will see all the tweets I've sent where I mention a new post I've written.

b) How to link to a site without flagging it up to the site owner, ie stop people from doing (a)
The sneakier among you might have noticed that people can see when you've posted the link to their website.

If you want to share a link on Twitter to an organisation without letting said organisation know about it you might think the obvious thing to do is 'not include their @name' however if they're monitoring their URL(s) as above then they'll see it anyway.

To thwart them, you need to use a wrapper to hide the URL. Suggestions include Do Not Link - I've not tried it myself yet but understand that it's being used to share links on blog posts where you don't wouldn't want to link to their site directly (which risks benefiting them because once Google indexes your page and notices that your site has linked to them, that slightly increases their 'rank').

Or you could use - its intended use is to share multiple websites under the banner of a single address - you add a series of pages that you want to share, 'krunch' them and end up with one URL, but you can krunch a single URL too. The people behind the site seem to have stopped developing it further so it's a bit unreliable for sharing multiple pages (you used to be able to go back in and edit out pages that disappeared or moved, but not now), though ideal for hiding an URL on Twitter I believe.

Kenter Link

*This is one of the reasons why I really dislike automatic RTs because they strip out the chain of how a tweet arrived in my timeline.

Pretend I'm following Jane but not Fred. If Fred tweets something amusing and Jane retweets it I'll see it. If I retweet it it just looks like I'm retweeting Fred, Jane doesn't get a mention unless I manually retweet it and add her name. There are loads of people who consistently cause interesting stuff to appear in my timeline and people who follow me might like to follow them directly. If I just RT the stuff they've RTed I'm not giving these 'middle men' any credit, which I think is a shame.

Obviously the person who crafted the tweet initially should get credit, but I also think credit is due to those who've spotted it and shared it.

On the plus side they'll probably never know if I don't because, by definition, they're not notified ;)

All my other blog posts about things I've discovered on Twitter over the years live at the Twitter tips category and I've also tagged this as a how to post, and I've done umpteen of those too.

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