The purpose of this paper is simple. We wanted to explore retweeting as a conversational practice. In doing so, we highlight just how bloody messy retweeting is. Often, folks who are deeply embedded in the culture think that there are uniform syntax conventions, that everyone knows what they’re doing and agrees on how to do it. We found that this is blatantly untrue. When it comes to retweeting, things get messy.
This is a well written and useful paper for more than just the authors’ core aim of analysing retweeting. It provides a useful introduction to the sociology of Twitter and research into Twitter practices.
It is worth a cross link to Paul Carr’s comment in his Guardian blog on Twitter etiquette: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/jun/03/not-safe-for-work-twitter-10-commandments
Though this is a very different genre it addresses the same phenomenon of emergent etiquette practices in new social media.
Though I was briefly a Twitter sceptic, I have been using the service for over two years and remain convinced that, with a few other key aspects and applications, it is among those things that makes the Internet uncontrovertably (for me) a *good* thing.