Twitter Links as Blog Comments – conversation or junk?

I was enjoying taking a few minutes to read Jon Husband and Harold Jarche’s terrific set of reflections on social learning, A framework for social learning in the enterprise: Enterprise 2.0 Blog: News, Coverage, and Commentary when I noticed something. 79 comments! Wow, there must be a great conversation going on. So I scrolled down.

What did I find? Tweets, autoposted as comments. The first seven were real responses. The rest were people tweeting out the url. Now, I believe I found the post via a tweet. So it was a good filter.

My question is, does this auto integration of tweets ruin the blog conversation? Yes, it shows how popular a post is, but wouldn’t it be better to have some sort of indicator of tweets and retweets rather than waste the space of a tweet which is essentially a URL?

This feels like a technology stewardship issue. Just because we CAN do something, should we? What are the anticipated outcomes? What surprises us once we implement something and when should we change it?

What do you think?

(Edited March 12 to more accurately reflect authorship of post in question. While Jon was listed as the “author” on the blog, much of the work was Harold’s. There was an interesting twitter back and forth with Harold on how someone else took and reposted the whole piece without due credit, and I said something like “it is still important to pay attention. Yet clearly, I did not pay enough attention. Good learning for me.)

  1. I think of these in the same way as I think of trackbacks — useful information that shows propagation of the idea. They should be visually segregated, though, not interspersed as comments, and show up /after/ comments. IMO. 🙂

    • Thanks, Kathy. Segregating – yup, that’s how I feel too. Just got a tweet on this too:

      From @writetechnology
      @NancyWhite I use backtype connect on wine-girl.net to pull in Twitter comments I was losing as blog comments. I love it.

  2. I’d love to take full credit for that post, but it was actually my friend and colleague Harold Jarche who wrote it. Of course, I can take some satisfaction in it, as it reflects a fair number of the conversations Harold and I have had over the past six years, as well as contributions from several other really smart and heartful people with whom we interact.

    Yeah, tweet notifications as comments. I take them generally as a recommendation to look at the post if someone has interest, which as kathy points out is similar to the previous concept of trackbacks.

    • Jon, thanks for helping me see more clearly that Harold was the prime author, even tho you are listed as the titular author on the Fast Forward Blog. I edited the post to correct my lack of paying attention. Lesson learned!