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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rewarding good Twitter behaviors

Yesterday, Paul Glazowski posted It’s Time to Give the Best of Twitter Some Pulitzers on mashable. The basic premise of his message is that amongst all of the millions of tweets are some real gems and they should be rewarded for their literary merits, their ability to entertain or their ability to inform. Absolutely agree! The benefit of any award program is that it encourages good behavior. In a world (a nod to Don LaFontaine) where people can write whatever they want so long as it is less than 140 characters, it becomes very difficult for the really good stuff to be heard above the noise.

It is the mission of Twitalytics to help pan the Twitter river for the gold nuggets that lie there if you just know where to look for them, or how. But once found, there really isn't an effective way to promote those who add genuine value to the overall experience. Paul mentions a site that is also attempting to reward good tweeting - Twitties.com and a commenter also notes Twitterbash.com. These sites have the right idea but not the visibility or traction it's going to take for the simple reason that they are disconnected from where the real action is taking place.

If a user is going to cast a vote for a tweet on any measure of value, they will want to do it immediately next to the tweet they just read. They should haven't to make a side trip to comment or rate a tweet ... it has to happen right there and in that instant. A no-brainer feature that I'm sure would catch on like wildfire is a link that lets you forward the tweet (retweet) to your followers. Like the Tweet? Just click the "retweet to your followers" button and boom it's done. You're followers got something you recommended. Perhaps an option can be offered to follow the tweeter that was passed to you with another click.

Tweeters whose posts are continually getting forwarded should get credibility points or "twitterbucks." These points could earn you special privileges such as more visible tweets, more interactive avatars or 20 extra characters per tweet? Options are endless.

Perhaps you can do a search of Tweets posted on a particular subject where the author has earned a certain number twitterbucks. This helps give some special recognition to those tweets viewed by the community as noteworthy.

And now for a shameless plug: in the category of most consistently helpful Twittering across the largest spectrum of subject areas, our nomination goes to none other than us Twitalytics.com, e hope you've been enjoying these tweets but as always want them to be more useful to our small but growing community.

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