Please Do Not Re-Tweet This Post!

June 18th, 2012 by CASUDI

This means, for those of my readers not on twitter, please don’t share my post.


Sharing means sending (or broadcasting) the link to my post as a tweet, email or via carrier pigeon, for those who still use Pigeons to communicate….

Please don’t re-tweet this post. If you must do something, please leave a comment below saying “I have read this post” OR if you are “tweet button”-happy  ~ add  “I have read this post” to your tweet and I will know you are on the side of READ & SHARE.

So; why am I writing this post and asking people not to share it? That’s kind of obvious in my opinion; especially in this day of promoting and expounding online transparency, honesty and trust. You might say I am doing research to find those who “practice what they preach”.

What is actually worse than just sharing without reading, is those who post a comment that clearly illustrates they have not read the original post:-) Happens all the time!

Before I decided to write this post I talked to a number of people. Some said they read everything before (or just after) sharing, another said they got close to 800 shares and then find (via GA) that only 150 had actually looked at their posts. Others said just the share was endorsement of the blogger, even if they didn’t read the post.  (names omitted to protect the guilty….)

Which is your “sharing” style?

What moved me to finally publish this post was a tweet by Judy Gombita @jgombita during the #Kaizenbiz twitter chat she hosted last Friday.  Judy had written an excellent framing post and when @4KM tweeted “painted with watercolors?”  @jgombita responded with “Proof you read framing post.”

We write posts, they do get shared in many different venues including via sharing platforms like Triberr, but are people actually reading them?

Do we need the proof?

@CASUDI Designing Success.


37 Responses to “Please Do Not Re-Tweet This Post!”

  1. Judy Gombita Says:

    You know I was JUST having an email conversation with Joe Ruiz (a.k.a. Gentleman Joe) about how I remained unconvinced that individuals who RT’d posts from Triberr actually read the items, despite the automatic function having been removed.

    I’m not on Triberr, but Neal Schaffer is, so my Bytes from the PR Sphere column on Windmill Networking does get “picked up” by his many Triberr mates. Yet if I thank those individuals, many seem unaware of whom I am…or to what I’m referring. Ergo, I think they are just RT’ing them because it’s Neal’s blog, rather than thinking it is an exceptional post.

    Thanks for the kind words about my framing post, as well as your active participation in last week’s #KaizenBiz chat.

    Also thanks for letting me know about this post.


  2. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Thanks Judy for your comment and your ongoing conversation on many things via twitter. To me it’s obvious that when you RT, it is something you consider worth sharing, and so generally I take a look at what you share because I know it will be worth a look and a read. It’s also obvious when someone shares a post of mine, and I ask them if they would like to add an insanely great question…. they have no clue what I am talking about…..that is, they have not even read my post. In part this was inspired by my participation in Triberr, however if the shares don’t correspond with the Google statistics, really what good is it? Unless of course your ego counts “shares” like it counts “followers” and puts value on both the numbers rather than the substance or quality behind the numbers. See you on #kaizenbiz.

  3. Joseph Ruiz Says:

    Interesting post Casudi. Judy talked about reading nutrition (my summary) she shared a link that I want to read, I suspect it’s going to talk about reading and value which to me is certainly implied in what you wrote. I hope we are moving to a growth state where accountability is coming in to play. I do agree that often framing posts/comments are not read and time is wasted explaining the obvious.
    I started my social experience focused on building numbers, now I much prefer more connection with collaborators (like the two of you) who add value online and IRL.

  4. Alice MacGillivray Says:

    Well, in the interests of transparency, it does feel VERY odd to read an interesting post, care enough to comment, and not say anything via twitter.

    Two comments…
    1) The first is that I am less concerned with people tweeting something that they have not read [thoroughly] than I am interested in some related challenges. For example, you occasionally see someone tweet something like “RT does not equal endorsement.” This makes too much sense, yet the norms of twitter seem to have sucked us into the assumption that RT = Endorsement. So that pushes you into a more comprehensive critique mode. You then tweet that you find the assumptions in a post seriously flawed, and next thing you know, you’re in some daily beside a story you presumably endorse, with no evidence of your critique.

    2) There is a nice little communities of practice model developed by Pete Kilner, that has 4 Cs around purpose: connection, conversation, content and context. To me, it can be quite legitimate to provide a link related to any of those functions. If the function is to share and endorse content, well, there should have been a pretty thorough read. But I also consider it legitimate to share a link purely as a flag that new content about an important topic has come up (perhaps with emphasis on the author).

    Keep in mind this is coming from a person who spends a lot of time in liminal space.

  5. Patrick Prothe Says:

    Nicely done! I find it poor practice to share content you haven’t read / found worthwhile just to share it. Such activity adds to the noise and provides the illusion that you’re well-read / in the know. It lacks substance and depth, and destroys your credibility.

    It’s much better to read and share selectively – even if via email – with those you know could benefit. Something I really like to do. Typically I’ll share content with a broader audience if I think it has wider appeal…

  6. Neal Schaffer Says:

    Hi Judy (and Caroline and Joe),

    Thanks for bringing me into the conversation.

    It’s funny because I used to blog a lot about personal etiquette and use of social media. Recently I concentrate more on the business aspects of it. For that reason, and understanding that people have a lot of different objectives for using social media, I tend to dwell less on these issues and accept everyone and how they use social media for who they are, with three exceptions:

    1) They are not spamming me.
    2) They are not bashing me publicly (I don’t mind getting bashed, but do me a favor and contact me personally)
    and, as the problem that Judy alluded to,
    3) They actually respond if I contact them over the social media channel that they share in.

    If no one responds to your tweets, what is the purpose of Twitter as a “social” media? That’s why I am fairly selective as to “who” I ReTweet – but I respond to 100% of the people that actually go out of their way to send me a personalized message. And I use a platform (Social Sprout) that allows me to easily sort through older tweets as if I was looking at my Google Mail Inbox…

    Don’t know if the above adds value to the conversation, but just wanted to give my two cents to the topic ;-)

  7. Alice MacGillivray Says:

    And as a tiny bit of clarification (re: the ambiguities of hashtags) my tweet was actually something like “#kaizenbiz painted with watercolors?” It’s interesting that people made sense of it without the #kaizenbiz!

  8. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    JOSEPH ~ Thanks for your comment. Can one add value when one just shares without reading? ~ Actually I think you can. We all know who writes the valuable posts so it isn’t too much risk to share without reading, I suppose. However, is this really courteous to the author or writer of the post not to read before sharing? How can we really learn if we don’t read…….

    ALICE ~ I love that you just about wrote a blog post (as Judy said) in comments. A great contribution. Not read [thoroughly] but read a little is way better IMO than not read at all, and not even opening the link! I do see the value in sharing for the “Connection” ingredient, where I might send a link from a writer (I know and routinely read) to someone I know will be interested, interested because of what the title implies. Well that’s another post about titles. Thank you so much for visiting Designing Success ~and YES, I got exactly what you meant during the chat as I had read Judy’s post also :-)

    PATRICK ~ Always a pleasure to have you comment here. I actually do quite a lot of sharing by email. Most of my readers who are clients (past, present and maybe in the future) actually like the email channel. They don’t want to subscribe by email but rather have asked me to send my posts, as perhaps they like the short cover email I send along with the link, somewhat personal and specific to them.

    NEIL ~ Exactly, when the purpose is connecting and conversation, it’s whatever works. If sharing without reading starts the conversation with me, I should be happy about the sharing, though the post is not read:-) My impatience is more with the blind RT, where people don’t have a clue about me or what I write ~ that’s more from Triberr than from the RT’s I get from the chat participants I meet in the numerous chats I join. Thanks so much for visiting my Blog, I really appreciate.

  9. Neal Schaffer Says:

    Hey Caroline ~ Triberr is an interesting beast. I also, although I’m a member, am finding myself at odds with many who use it. I am in the process of leaving all of the tribes and handpicking those members that I have affinity with to my own tribe. It’s the only way it can work long-term…

  10. Janet Callaway Says:

    Caroline, aloha. Because I so love this post, I had to tweet it. However, I did put the “I have read this post” note in front so that you and others would know that I did.

    Actually, your title is so intriguing I will be interested to see how many RTs/comments you receive. Please do keep me posted.

    Caroline, my thinking is more in alignment with Neal’s. Personally, I don’t believe any of us have the “right” to set the rules of engagement for someone else. Just as before all our various social media platforms people interacted with different styles, so too does that continue online.

    Thanks so much for a great start to the week with your thought and comment provoking post. Wishing you much aloha, my friend. Janet

  11. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    NEIL ~ Thanks for sharing your Triberr focus. I have only been a part of Triberr for about 6 weeks but get a real sense you are on the right track. Less is more. Less tribes (as in one)with more people (ALL) who add value…….

    JANET ~ I agree that we don’t have the right to set the rules of engagement, however it’s always interesting to see what people do. Will they re-tweet with “I have read….”, will they just RT (one so far) indicating a share with no read, will people just NOT share at all when they see the title? This is way more interesting than a “Survey Monkey” don’t you think?

    I’ll keep you updated of course, and thanks for coming back and visiting Designing Success and for another fab comment.

  12. Colleen Says:

    This is a very interesting post, and the comments are equally intriguing! I always read something before I post it. It never crossed my mind that I should RT something that I haven’t ever read. Alice brings up an interesting point that it is possible to RT something that you don’t actually endorse, yet it seems to me that if I RT, I’m actually endorsing the post. If a potential “follower” reads through my posts, a RT appears to be a reflection of my thinking, no?

    Thanks for the thought provoking post! I love the title, too.

  13. kimberly Says:

    For now I would be happy if my posts got shared at all. (half joking there) I do however only tweet share posts I have read and think will benefit, enlighten, or to just give a good laugh to my followers.

  14. Jen Olney Says:

    This is a great post, Caroline. I have suspected that many do not read what they send out via Triberr as well. I will read before I send, even if I just glance at the entire post and then go back to read to digest in greater detail. I want to be able to engage in conversation should it happen w/in any of the platforms I share the post. I also want to pay respect to those who write as I know many read my posts as well. It’s a respect factor for me. For many, I noticed they are surprised by the comments that are made in their stream… I want my followers to know I would never co-sign anything I didn’t approve or read – that’s a honesty I wish to keep with everything I do. The only wish I have is more time to comment. I tend to reserve it for the weekends when I have downtime…but I do try to make the rounds as much as I can.

  15. Lynne Says:

    It is difficult to keep up with all the tweets, as it seems some have time to tweet every other minute. I find it amazing and overwhelming that in a matter of seconds, I have 50+ new tweets. What I do, when I have time, is look for Tweets by particular people who post what I’m most interested in. Needless to say, I find your Tweets very much worth my time.

  16. CathyWebSavvyPR Says:

    I read, or at least skim around 80% of what I retweet. If a post is from someone I trust on Twitter, whose work I have read before, and the topic is targeted to something my followers should find useful or interesting, I will sometimes mark it as a favorite (to read later), but RT it right away so my followers can benefit from it while it is fresh, even if I haven’t had the chance to read it yet.

    I do remember @JGombita calling me out once :) with something like a “Did you read that post before RTing it? It was very basic.” I had known it was basic info, what Judy didn’t realize is that some of my followers are newbies/101 types, others are very knowledgeable. I had not read that post, but the info was solid, just basic. I have tried since then to add a note to my RT if the info is 101 or basic, to help folks not waste their time.

    I will say, as a credibility-builder, one twitter Retweet tip is…if a post is really up your alley, and of interest to your followers, AND if you can genuinely add something of value to the conversation – comment on the post, in some way that ads value for other readers, THEN retweet the post.

    The blogger sees that you are interacting in a useful way (they might even check out your blog); your Twitter followers – if they choose to read the post may also see your comment – more than 140 characters of your opinion on something of interest (and they may also check out your blog); and other readers of the blog who are unfamiliar with you may also see your comments and check out your blog or your twitter account.

    As long as your comment does actually add to the dialogue or information value of the original post, this is a win – win – win scenario.

    Many people click a link, skim the article, hit the RT button and THEN take the time to comment.

  17. Chris Sinkus (@csinkus) Says:

    Caroline-Excellent post! I make sure to read posts before I share. Some longer posts I will share before finishing and come back to reread in greater depth. In most cases I make sure to add a comment before the RT to comment or draw a conclusion on what or why I am sharing. Every day I try to find a post that I will make 3+ tweets to add commentary/ point of view from the shared post- sometimes in agreement and sometimes not.

    In the past I would RT as a place holder for articles that caught my attention and found some really thin content that really added no value after reading. A couple of times I found that they were just ads or sign up forms that caught me by the title. I saw this as poor judgement of sharing and a negative reflection on me.

    I have not automated any part of my social activity other than linking accounts to selectively share content across social networks. Everything I have done is completely organic. It is more work but less noise. I do use some tools for analysis though.

  18. Ann Satterfield Says:

    As a general rule, I read the articles I send out. It seems like any time I haven’t read an article thoroughly, it has come back to bite me. I also try to put additional information in the tweet or post, if possible, to better explain what it is exactly.

    Personally, I don’t mind if people post an article they haven’t read, as long as I know into what I am getting. I dislike vague language when describing links. Conversely, I appreciate any additional info provided, including #hashtags and brackets, such as [humor] or [infographic].

    One of my takeaways from your blog and another I read today on being more efficient with blog-reading time, is to not just read and share articles, but to be more active in reading by taking notes, implementing suggestions/tips, **commenting**, etc. The idea of active reading versus passive reading really resonated with me.

  19. Ann Satterfield Says:

    BTW, I think you need another smaller stack in your picture for “Read, Share & Comment.” LOL

  20. CASUDI Says:

    COLLEEN ~ Thanks for your comment and really good point. I will RT something I don’t endorse or agree with from time to time, but I modify my tweet to reflect this with something like…… I don’t agree with this? Is this for REAL? No way…… I like to pass along things that are controversial or disagreeable from time to time:-)

    KIMBERLY ~ It sure looks like you are on the side of READ (check it out) before SHARING. Thanks for visiting designing Success and commenting.

    JEN ~ Time to comment, I with I had more time as I really love the conversations that happens in comments. That’s often the best part of blogging and I have met some of my greatest online friends, when both of us were commenting on another post. Thanks so much for your comment, I really appreciate you visiting Designing Success.

    LYNN ~ It gets easier the longer you are on Twitter and one finds ways (tools) to help one along the way. I try and tweet value, and links of interest and don’t just RT everything that crosses my screen, so I am glad you find the value in what I communicate. Thanks for your comment.

  21. CASUDI Says:

    CATHY ~ Thanks for adding such a long comment ~ almost a post :-) ~ and underlining again that there are situations where if you know the writer, know your audience that it might be timely to RT before reading. I wonder if you have ever been caught out with this, that is passed on something with no substance, no value of just plain stupid? I did once and it made me be sure and read what I RT always;-)

    CHRIS ~ I see you HAVE been caught out (as I was) by RT-ing something that does not reflect well on you. I agree the automated comes off as such, however I do use Buffer for scheduled tweets, but each scheduled tweet is read first and selected with my followers, or a segment of my followers in mind. Thanks for your comment and visiting Designing Success.

    ANNE ~ I really like “active reading ” as different from “passive” ~ meaning adding a comment/phrase to your tweet OR better yet commenting. I try and comment on one post a day and more after #blogchat if I have the time, picking new bloggers as my commenting focus. YES, pile 3 coming soon ~ READ~COMMENT~SHARE. Great to have you visit Designing Success and TY for commenting X2.

  22. Brian Driggs Says:

    I think sharing content – via tweet, Facebook, or by IFTTT – can mean more than just endorsement of others. It can be a form of self-promotion, too. Sharing a post doesn’t just say, “I believe in what this person has to say.” It also says, “I associate with this sort of person.”

    We all know the adage about who you know being more important than what you know. Social media has proven a convenient means of promoting action without actually taking it. Is it any surprise to think we might want our audiences to envision our relationships with those who produce the exceptional stuff as more than tenuous? Not really, but it did hit me as something I’ve not thought about yet when I began to leave this comment.

    As for comments themselves, I prefer to leave comments, as I believe the comversations started by people on their sites should remain on their sites. Comments are like testamonials, and real conversation taking place between commenters is the ultimare goal. Just as there is no community where people automatically RT things they haven’t read (ahem: Triberr), there is no community where the readers do not engage with one another.

    So the question I come up with, then, is how do we encourage conversation over comments, and what does that look like where the content is white-hot and the comments run longer than the original post?

    Ciao, Casudi.

  23. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    BRAIN ~ I’m glad you brought up the point of self-promotion and also how sharing a link can be a focus of your personal Branding ~ a share can give insight into what sort of a person you are ~ if you don’t agree with the share but find it “sharable” put “I don’t agree” or similar with the post. This also reflects on your personal Brand.

    Yes, we met in @ConversationAge comments, I do remember. How do we get conversations going in comments……who really knows? Sometimes people want to comment to be noticed (suck-up to) the high profile blogger, other times they really have something to add, and quite honestly what I consider my best posts, with the most value or substance get the least or no comments. And others have told me the exact same thing. So figure that one out? There has to be commenting-friendly content, like this post… maybe that’s a post in itself!

    Thanks for taking a break in your European holiday to comment, always so appreciated.

  24. Mark W Schaefer Says:

    I am not a bot! : ). Great post Caroline!

  25. Mark Miller, @EUSP Says:

    I read your post… all of it :-) From my understanding, I can now tweet with impunity because I understand the underlying context of your message.

  26. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    MARK & MARK ~ Thanks for being on the READ & SHARE side of things. Always appreciated.

  27. Bridie Jenner Says:

    I read 100% of what I share. In fact, I blogged on the same topic a few months ago after clicking on a link shared by a respected Twitter user and being led to an incredibly spammy site and an article full of typos – not a good look. I do believe that you are what you share and that if you RT a post it means you’re endorsing it as good, quality content.

  28. Julie Cobb Says:

    I always read before I retweet….but certainly something to think about when reading the retweets of others.

  29. Mick Huiet Says:

    I am brand new to twitter. While I am exhilarated at the ability to read and connect to such a vast amount of experience, I am overwhelmed by the instantaneous pace and short term existence of tweets. I’m sure as I find the tools to organize and track those I need to follow that I will relax and enjoy the ride. I truly appreciate all those who read carefully before retweeting. There is a saying in Shekou, China posted on bill boards, “Time is Money, Efficiency is Life.” This is a bit extreme, but to have everyone use this media with more thought would mean a more efficient sharing of combined knowledge and resources.

  30. Clay Says:

    I’ve got to say, I almost wanted to RT this post just because you said not to… but while I agree that people are blindly sharing things based off of headlines, nothing will “correct” that behavior, especially telling someone *not* to share something or to do anything in a certain way – it’s just not how social media works. Twitter is a huge success because there is no “right” way to use twitter. Some ways are more effective than others, but it’s pretty open-ended which allows users to define their own experience. Ultimately, if we want to stop people from blindly sharing, we need to have better headlines, better writing, and better ways of communicating with an audience that draws in their 140-character attention spans.

  31. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Thanks Bridie for “underlining” the point in my post. I appreciate you taking the time to read it and leave a comment on Designing Success.

    Yes, Julie ~ the links a person shares are certainly an indication of who they are and I keep that in mind whenever I open a “spammy” link by someone who up until then I have respected. Thanks for your comment.

    Mike, I can relate to being new on Twitter. When I arrived I knew no one and found it rather intimidating. However as time goes on you will find your groups of like minded people, in fact just like happens IRL. I too find the the short life of a “tweet” quite frustrating, in fact the here today gone one minute later aspect of online! Thanks for reading my post and commenting here.

    Clay, please feel free to RT this post :-) In no way was the title supposed to stop you from doing so or restrict your freedom on Twitter. In actual fact it was a “Lark” designed to test people and see if they read before sharing. Everyone who read and shared got this and did RT the post, usually adding some thing like “I read it” to the RT. It’s a continuing issue and I’m not sure there is any solution. Thanks for adding your comment.

  32. Linda Bernstein Says:

    This post is so relevant to the people in the twitter chat yesterday bragging about how many posts they tweeted every day through Triberr–although they didn’t read the posts. The two people defending that practice said they trust the blogger. But even great bloggers write duds, and is the blogger is a friend, I feel it’s an act of friendship NOT to tweet something inferior.

  33. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Thanks so much Linda for adding your opinion, which is in essence why I wrote the post in the first place! One high profile blogger said to me that she was getting about half the views (via GA) than the number of ReTweets and so I checked mine since joining Triberr, and YES, it was happening to me. At this point I am continuing my research of Triberr but so far I am not overly pleased with it as a reach multiplyer…… true reach that is. GREAT to have you comment here on Designing Success.

  34. Kathleen Says:

    Interesting post, I read it! My thoughts:

    1. I have been guilty of retweeting posts that sounded relevant to my topic but I didn’t actually read. I am aware that I shouldn’t do this, just because it has a good title, doesn’t mean the post is good. I will stop doing this.

    2. I know what you mean about comments that prove they didn’t read the post. I did a book review and put a prompt at the end to be answered in comments. I linked it up with a comment exchange and received 5 comments, not one answer my prompt which means they just skipped to the bottom to comment quick.

  35. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Thanks so much Kathleen for your comment, again it proves that this is a “timeless” post as the subject keeps coming up. I have to confess I occasionally share first and then go back and read, but only an author where I have 100% trust. Some bloggers I read everything and only share things I think my followers will get value from. There is the share/ RT which is really a “suck-up” to the “famous” and I often wonder about the reading first with those :-) I assume we met on #mediachat and thank you for visiting Designing Success.

  36. Amber-Lee Dibble Says:

    Thank you. (Sigh)
    I read most of the comments (not absolutely all), so I am going to step up and say so. I have RT-ed many posts that I have not read. Yes, yes I have.

    First, I would like to add, I do RT those I have read in the past, many of which – read many times, but unless I actually read a post I will not add anything to it.

    I am certain many people are similar to myself in that I find myself in a glorious library, with oh so many wonderful books and only one lifetime in which to read them all… I feel the same with all the wondrous and wise people I have encountered thus far here in this world.

    Sharing, RT-ing, to me, is a hand of friendship reaching out with. An “I will help you.” It is also a sign of respect from me to you. I will help you. See me, maybe want to get to know me.

    Endorsing? If it wasn’t so real, it would be hysterical. I better be gettin’ paid.

    Thank you for sharing this post with me, CASUDI. I will tighten my days and find the time to read more… and this IS a very important point… that folks need to consider in Social Media…

  37. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Thanks AL ~ glad this “timeless” post still makes the point. Lots of people RT-ed it without reading and I could tell!

    Sometimes the fun posts do make a point!

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