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I am changing the prefilled text for Twitter every time, for example this prefilled text

Stack Exchange User Experience Q: Hide or disable form options? http://t.co/zKpRWkG

I mainly make more use of the hashes and put the actual content up front*:

Hide or disable form options? http://t.co/zKpRWkG #StackExchange #UserExperience

Could the text that is prefilled when you Tweet a question be improved in this way? Other suggestions? Or is there a very good reason to have it like this?

Maybe the same counts for the automatic SE twitter accounts (like StackUX)? Adding a #UserExperience-hash might help as well.


* Mostly I also change the question in case, but that is up for everyone by themselves.

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2 Answers

I always add my own "two cents" to the tweet, and the existing filler text is really long, so I have to delete most of it. If I keep the question title, I rearrange it as @Lode has, so we end up with something like [My comment] [question title or part of it] [link] [possibly hashtags but I hand-add them eg #WP7].

I think it would do the site a benefit to have the prefilled text very short. Question title and shortened link, would be my suggestion. I got a ton of traffic from "you'll laugh, you'll cry, but you won't set the selection colour" which got retweeted by a lot of people (many not even technical) some of whom told me it was because of my little comment. Leave people room to make that little snark or teaser and the tweet will have its own life. Prefill 120 chars of it ... not so much.

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ok, so just the question title and the link, then? –  Jeff Atwood May 12 '11 at 11:34
    
@Jeff - yes please –  Kate Gregory May 12 '11 at 11:35
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well, I do prefer less is more, so you have convinced me –  Jeff Atwood May 12 '11 at 12:01
    
    
I would add one hashtag with the site's topic. Such writing your completely own text is for the more experienced writers/tweeters. For starters (and for findability) it helps a lot to add a topic. For example adding #ubuntu, #gaming, #math, #english, etc. Removing by the experienced user is always possible. –  Lode May 15 '11 at 18:53
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Hmm. I see what you're doing, and it's cool, but I am not sure this is really appropriate for a general Twitter user, but more of a power Twitter user edit.

Specifically, I'm not convinced those two hashtags are really being followed, are they? And we already have a master Stack Exchange twitter account at

http://twitter.com/stackexchange

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True. I don't think it hurts though. Of course it is hard to follow them when they don't exist. But for example take #cooking, I guess that one is followed already. The same goes for #ubuntu, #gaming, #tex, #wordpress, #android, #photography, #finance, #roleplay, #sharepoint, #drupal, well, etc. Adding these hashtags makes it findable by a larger public, which is nice of course. Maybe it is a bit comparable to a good domain name. –  Lode Apr 12 '11 at 6:07
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