Resolution: Always check links before retweet

There’s a good chance you followed a link on Twitter to get to this post. I thank the person who sent you this way. If that person retweeted this link, I’m confident that he or she checked it and didn’t blindly hit the retweet button.

My resolution isn’t all that exciting, so I searched Twitter for interesting link-related resolutions to share with Almighty Link readers. My favorite find was this message from self-proclaimed political junkie Diana Lynn W. (@La_Diana):

New Years resolution: to always check links before I retweet them.

Here are more 2010 promises and goals that people on Twitter have made regarding hyperlinks.

  1. pixelcurious
    pixelcurious New Years resolution: to post at least one link to something creative every day. Design, music, cooking… or just something small & nifty.
  2. Julia Schrenkler
    juliaschrenkler 2010 resolution: Spread the gospel to abolish “Click here” for links. If you can’t give it up just use a late 90’s web design on the page.
  3. G~Lori
    Bama_GLori I think my fellow tweeps resolution for 2010 should be: more original tweets, less links. #ohyeahiwentthere
  4. Larry Sivitz
    larrysivitz SEO New Year’s Resolution 002: One link from each of the .edu, .org and .gov TLD gene pools each month. #seoresolutions
  5. Poser Exposer
    twittposers Happy New Year back! My resolution (for this account) is to link to a website so I can give more info. Can’t always explain in 140 chars..
  6. Kevin B McDonald
    kevinbmcdonald My resolution…post one link and profile of a missing child each day. Maybe if people pay attention, we can help
  7. Don Schnure
    DonSchnure My New Years resolution – kill Twitter spam. Tweet a link selling something and I WILL delete you. U won’t waste my time in 2010
  8. Levi Wallach
    dvdmon I have a resolution 4 Twitter – stop with the marketers – ban anyone who has marketing keywords in their profile or posts links re markting!
  9. Marion Abrams
    Madmotion 2010 resolution – I will not follow any link preceded by “check it out.”
  10. Laura Thornton
    laurathornton My #1 resolution is to know my network better. Let me know what your blog link is. I will def. check it out and comment.
  11. Dave Sparks
    ourbuddydave Resolution for @scj: Fix CMS *again* so links work on smart phones! At least links work at @dmregister and other newspapers I read online.

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If you liked this post, you might want to read “Imagine Twitter without links.”

How frequently are top newspaper sites retweeted?

Editor & Publisher shared a list of top newspaper web sites in March, ranked by unique audience. Here is the top of that list, along with each site’s main Twitter account, its RTPMF as calculated by Retweetist, and the number of times it has been retweeted:

  1. (@nytimes): 1.1 RTPMF, with 761 retweets in the last 7 days
  2. (@USATODAY): 5.2 RTPMF, with 47 retweets in the last 7 days
  3. (@washingtonpost): 2.7 RTPMF, with 28 retweets in the last 7 days
  4. Wall Street Journal Online (@WSJ): 6.9 RTPMF, with 269 retweets in the last 7 days
  5. LA Times (@latimes): 5 RTPMF, with 81 retweets in the last 7 days

Of course, if a newspaper want to use Twitter to drive traffic to their sites, it would be wise to build a community of individuals who independently share links (to the organization) with each of their followers.

So tell me, who do you retweet frequently and why? What makes a tweet RT-worthy? When (what time of day) are you more likely to RT?

Retweetist and a new Twitter metric: RTPMF

RT me t-shirtRetweetist recently added a feature that begins to measures what I consider the “viral strength” of a Twitter user. (Read this if you don’t know what a retweet is.)

Go to, type a Twitter username in the box on the right and hit the “go” button.

Near the top of the page, you will see a number labeled “RT / 1,000 followers,” or what I call the RTPMF, following the CPM nomenclature from web advertising.

For example, @problogger Darren Rowse was retweeted 527 times in the last 7 days. Retweetist divides that number by 56.145 (Rowse’s followers in thousands) to come up with a 9.4 RTPMF.

Retweetist summary of @problogger

For masses without masses

There have been other sites that trackt RTs. Retweetrank, for example, ranks Twitter users by the raw number of times they are retweeted. As one might expect, celebrities and social media superstars frequently top it’s leaderboard.

What’s different about Retweetist’s RTPMF is that it is useful for Twitter users with small followings. If you have 531 followers and have been retweeted 5 times in the last week, your RTPMF is 9.4 — your tweets appeal to your friends just as much as Darren Rowse tweets appeals to his following.

More to consider

RTPMF is just part of an equation to measure viral strength on Twitter. Other numbers that need to be factored in:

  • Number of tweets posted be the user (fewer tweets suggest more powerful tweets)
  • Number of unique users who retweeted a single post (diversity suggest a stronger network of retweeters)
  • Number of non-followers who retweeted a post (non-follower RTs suggest a broader appeal)

What numbers do you use to measure the effectiveness of your tweets? What tools do you use to make those measurements?

Retweet links