I love twitter. I wasn’t always a fan, but I caved. It’s a great source (for me specifically) to keep up with all the goodness that involves programming and JavaScript nonsense. In my short lived life on twitter, I’ve noticed that there are several ways that people retweet a tweet (or as I call them, twats). I’ve categorized them in a neat list so you don’t have to.

Old School
Keep it real, yo. Just use the “retweet” button that the twitter interface already offers. It’s simple and to the point. It doesn’t require any extra typing or thinking. Just hit that magic button and it’s done. This will simply put the original person’s tweet on your followers timeline. It’s indicated as a retweet by including a retweet icon next to the sources name, followed by the name of the person your following (the retweeter).

RT
This is when someone who wants to retweet something and provide their own commentary. For example, if @chickenFace (not real.. yet) tweets:

“I just had the best #chicken in life. I almost shat my pants it was so delicious.”

Someone following @chickenFace would retweet their twat by prepending “RT” and perhaps append it with their own comment like so:

RT “I just had the best #chicken in life. I almost shat my pants it was so delicious.” -@chickenFace I just shat my pants too! #coincidence

This form of retweeting is good for commentary by the retweeter and provides a small level of interaction within a single tweet.

Via
This is similar to RT with the exception that the retweeter gives a shout out to the person who tweeted it. For example, @chickenFace writes:

“If I had another asshole, I would eat more than I already do. Here is my double-ass demo: http://bit.ly/iTNieP

A follower of @chickenFace would then retweet like so:

“Ass http://bit.ly/iTNieP via @chickenFace”

I like this one. It reminds me of when I had to write bibliographies in my papers for school. You can instantly give credit to the original source by simply saying who wrote it.

Link whore
Then finally you have the link whore. It’s perfectly OK to keep track of links clicked. It’s good for business and egos. The only problem is that when it comes to twitter, there are more link whores then crack whores on Times Square in the 80’s.

These are the people who see a link on their timeline and say “Hey, I’m a douche bag who loves clicks! I’ll take this awesome link that I didn’t find myself, then create another link to redirect to that same link. I’m a genius!”. This enables the retwatter to take full credit for a link they didn’t find. It’s like twitter plagiarism. I call it twittergism. (you heard it here first, folks).

Here’s an example from @chickenFace:

“So apparently the chicken came first, it’s true. Check it: http://on.msnbc.com/klAXXZ

Someone following @chickenFace would then be a link whore and do this:

“ZOMG! The chicken came first: http://5z8.info/enriched-uranium-supply_t1h5ax_startdownload

The shitbag above just wants you to click on their link so they can track it and feel great about themselves.

Conclusion
Twitter is fun, don’t be a whore. If you’re gonna retweet, give credit where credit is due.