Monday, July 27, 2009

10 things retweet.com could do to beat tweetmeme.com

retweetImage by smith via Flickr

It looks like we’re about to see the launch of retweet.com. MG Siegler at TechCrunch has a write up and we can see the “winning” design for the site over at 99designs too.

While writing this post I also stumbled across a way to access retweet.com today. I blogged that straight away.
  1. Let people customise the colours of the buttons (always a branding challenge for Tweetmeme but retweet has the security of their domain name)
  2. Easier integration with RSS feeds (especially for blogger.com and similar hosted services)
  3. Provide a ‘related posts’ plugin powered by retweet.com data.
  4. Disallow services like twitterfeed from their RSS feeds (to prevent the automatic echo chamber)
  5. Provide a feedflare
  6. Provide email alerts when topics or keywords of choice reach different thresholds of interest
  7. Let users see trending tweets from just their friends or defined lists of Twitter accounts
  8. Introduce an additional and alternative ‘authority’ view based on trust and credibility as well as retweet volume.
  9. Let users filter out (or in) tweets marked by “ad”, “sponsored” or equivalent negative descriptors.
  10. Improve RT.nu
Some of these ten are hard to but others look like quick wins. Perhaps Retweet.com’s biggest challenge may be the legacy Retweet.com inherits from Hummingbird via its parent company Mesiab Labs. There’s a good deal of trust in play when you add a third party widget to your site. Mesiab will have to earn it.

Update: I wrote that trust might be retweet.com's biggest challenge. Turns out that I (and many others) were right. The company was caught copying code straight from Tweetmeme. It seems likely that many bloggers would not want to be involved in that. The hill for retweet.com just got significantly steeper.

Update 2: Retweet.com has blogged their side of the Tweetmeme/retweet.com code drama. It's worth a read if you want to follow both sides of this development.

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