Many people have said that the comments left on blogs are often better than the blog post itself, so when we started looking at commenting on TweetMeme our primary goal was to allow good quality comments to be retweeted.
So today we are giving a sneak peek into one aspect of the new TweetMeme release which is coming early next week that fulfills that vision and a whole lot more.
We thought long and hard on how we could introduce comments to TweetMeme that would meet a number of goals including our retweet functionality.
- Promotion of quality comments
- Works seamlessly with Twitter
- Reply mechanism that feels familiar to Twitter users
- Ability to embed media into comments
I am sure everyone has found that discussions on blogs ‘can’ be absolutely compelling and that it is not unusual to find single comments that run to numbers of pages and would in themselves often warrant being their own blog post. These often go overlooked by a large proportion of readership that doesn’t have the time to read through all the comments on a single story.
Just like our normal story retweet functionality each Twitter user can only retweet a comment once (i.e. one vote per user). Within TweetMeme this means a simple one-click retweet which we send on your behalf behind the scenes, for users on Twitter they can retweet the unique link that points at that comment and we will count any further retweets towards the total. This gives an individual comment the same chance of spreading virally as any normal story.
Finally we make it possible to switch from the default ordered by date, to a ordered by ‘retweets’ so for a particular story see the most popular comments. On a story with hundreds of comments we think just like TweetMeme the ability to filter by the retweet popularity will be valuable in finding the quality comments.
We love the simplicity of Twitter and especially the ability to reply to multiple people. We wanted to duplicate this within TweetMeme but also make it quicker + simpler for new users. So all you have to do is click on the ‘reply’ button and the name of the person gets put in a ‘TO:’ box, click on another reply (on a different comment) and that name will also be added.
And just like Twitter you can click on ‘Replies’ (Twitter now calls it ‘mentions’) and you will only see the comments that have been directed back at you. On top of this when you post a comment on TweetMeme it also sends a Tweet to Twitter which includes the @[name] of each Twitter user, so even if they are not on TweetMeme at the time to see that you have replied, they will see it on back on Twitter (or any clients such as TweetDeck.)
We love short URL’s for their tracking and ability to be easily spread about the social web. For the average user they can also hide the final content and result in them not getting clicked. When we sat down and thought how we could encourage the embedding of media and the use of short URL’s the solution was simple, just use inherent ability of TweetMeme to un-shorten and aggregate the content at the end of the link.
You can see from the example above that the comment includes three links which have been annotated and reference the list of media below the content. When I wrote the comment I actually copy + pasted three short URL’s but TweetMeme went and un-shortened them. Then went and found the content associated with the links, e.g. title, body of the post and any media attached.
This is only part of a major overhaul to TweetMeme that includes our 3rd generation of news filtering, new and much improved spam detection, improvements in search and a whole host of other smaller changes. We thank everyone who continues to support us and uses our Retweet Button. You can be sure we will continue to innovate in this space.