Edit: We have just released a proto-version of this feature. We will update its look and add a couple more functions to it tomorrow. To see it in action, visit the Browse page, and click on the Chain Image (with ‘View’ or ‘D’ next to it) in order to see the Link page. This page will show you the people tweeting out the rebutted page.
I’m very excited about this new feature we are adding to rbutr.
We have developed a Twitter search which searches for the ‘Source Page’ of any source-rebuttal combination. The results of this search is a list of all tweets which are sharing the rebutted page. With this list you can then click on it and get a pre-designed reply tweet which will look something like this:
@SharersName There is a rebuttal to this page here: <www.RebuttingPage.com> – You can see the link here <www.rbutr.com/linkPage>
With this tool activated, whenever you submit a rebuttal, or even if you are just browsing rebuttals, you will be able to share rebuttals which you think are compelling directly with the people who most need to see them – The people sharing the rebutted page!
I can’t wait to release it and see how it goes!
My testing so far has been incredibly well received. Of course, this will vary from person to person, and each to their own, but I was very surprised how positive most of the reactions were in my first round of testing. Here are a few replies I got to my tweets:
Of course many people simply didn’t reply, but quite a few retweeted and favourited the tweet too, which is quite powerful in a self-promotional way for anyone looking to gain more followers for their Twitter account.
The closest I received to a negative response was actually someone just generally showing their disgust of the the subject matter (ie: McDonalds etc):
So they didn’t actually have any problem with the rebuttal, or me tweeting the rebuttal to them – they just don’t like fast food. Which I’m not one to disagree with…
So people don’t seem to mind receiving these tweets – in fact, they seem to appreciate it. And sending them may result in people appreciating your ‘Sharing the other side’ approach, and end up getting you more Twitter followers.
One Main Concern
The main concern we have with this feature is that there is a risk that lots of people might pile on and bombard one or two poor people with 50 “There is a rebuttal to this!” tweets. As soon as we can figure out any hacks which can prevent this from happening, we will put them in place. In the meantime, we will ask everyone to LOOK at the conversation around a tweet before you reply to it. That is, when you click to reply to a tweet, Twitter will actually show you the tweet AND the surrounding conversation (like the images above) – just look at the replies to the tweet and make sure someone else hasn’t already alerted them to the rebuttal.
Why This Feature is Awesome
For rbutr Users
From the user perspective, whenever you find and add a rebuttal, it is usually because you agree with it and want people to know. This feature allows you to immediately tap in to existing social network structures and share that rebuttal to a much wider audience than rbutr alone can reach (at this stage). This is really powerful for helping to create a genuine discussion between people on opposite sides of a debate.
It also gives you great quality unique material to tweet – you can’t find this sort of information anywhere else on the web, and rbutr will just generate it for you. Great quality tweets like this are what help people grow large twitter followings by getting retweets and interaction.
For Rebuttal Authors
From the perspective of the rebuttal author, they are getting more traffic to their article. rbutr already holds the promise of driving more traffic to authors through its plugin, but until we have hundreds of thousands of active users, this number is quite small. By using this system, authors will receive more exposure of their great rebuttal articles; rewarding them for writing great quality work.
For People Tweeting the Rebutted Page
From the perspective of the person tweeting the rebutted page, they get to be exposed to an alternative argument. They may find the information revealing, or they may find it lacking – the exposure to rbutr in this manner then provides them with the opportunity to write (or find someone else to write) a counter-rebuttal to the rebuttal which they see as lacking. Again, this is all part of engaging opposing parties in genuine debate.
For rbutr as a Whole
And of course from rbutr’s perspective, we get exposure of our app to everyone involved. Bringing in more rebuttal authors as they recognise the potential to generate more traffic by using rbutr, more users as people see the value of having an app like rbutr working for them, and more rebuttal submitters as they can see the value in sharing these rebuttals for their twitter account. More users, authors and submitters using rbutr makes the whole tool much better for everyone, because the more people using it, the more quality the content is, the more motivation we have to build and perfect the software, and the more of an impact we can have on creating a Socratic internet, where everyone questions everything until they actually understand the situation, rather than blindly consuming information from single, biased, agenda driven sources.
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