Twitter, updated

Twitter David Hopkins

I have been on Twitter for nearly 5 years now, using my @hopkinsdavid handle/username.

In this time I’ve amassed nearly 6700 followers and am currently following just over 1300 accounts – I don’t call them people as some are ‘corporate’ or ‘organisational’ accounts. Many of those I do follow are individuals who are like me and are working in some form of education, as either learning technologists, instructional designers, etc. or are thought leaders, provokers, or game-changers who investigate and challenge the educational establishments to improve ourselves and the world we’re leaving the next generation.

In the past few weeks I’ve made a very subtle change to how I use and forward information and tweets from other people. The standard option is to use the ‘retweet’ button. For the most part this is how it appears in your timeline (and my own) and it’s a very quick and easy way to make my followers / network know of something I consider important:


When I want to make it more personal I use the ‘quote’ button on the iPad or iPhone app and manually change it to remove the quote marks and add in the RT or via text:


And this is what I’ve changed. This doesn’t really say anything about the tweet or the link. Yes, I’ve passed on the details and the tweet owner / originator to my network, but I haven’t indicated any kind of reason or purpose or strength of content.

So, instead of the standard ‘via’ or ‘RT’ text I do something I have seen Sidneyeve Matrix doing … I thank the original tweet and, if necessary, append my own thoughts on the tweet and give it a new value to my network:


It’s a simple thing, it doesn’t take up any more characters from the limited 140 I have available. When I have seen my tweets retweeted like this, with someone saying ‘thank you’ instead of  just the standard ‘via’ or ‘RT’ it’s made me feelit was somehow more valued and more important to them. It might not be, but it made me happier about my contribution to the many millions of tweets sent each day.

It’s a simple thing, not important or game-changing, but somehow ‘nicer’.