Twitter is lauded as today’s microblogging and lifestreaming application of choice for top bloggers and new media users. Some users also use Twitter to share links to articles or blog posts of interest. The linkage usually goes one way only, though, with the tweet linking to the blog post. However, with two “tweetback” plugins launched recently, this would no longer be the case.
Dan Zarella and Joost de Valk have both released their respective plugins, both of which are called Tweetback. The concept is simple. It works much like a trackback or a pingback, in which excerpts from a tweet (or its entirety) will be echoed as a comment on the original blog that is being linked.
People are talking about your posts, and not only in the comments to your post. A lot of that conversation is happening on Twitter, and now, you can take that conversation right back to your blog! This plugin imports those tweets about your posts as comments. You can display them in between the other comments on your blog, or display them separately.
While both plugins have the same goal, they don’t necessarily do things the same way, and so it’s up to the user to determine which is best to implement on their sites.
Jonathan Bailey, who rights on intellectual property on the Blog Herald, has recently lauded these efforts but raised concerns about the copyright implications of Tweetbacks. For one, the question of whether tweets are copyrightable at all is raised. But then the main issue in this case is whether a Twitter user would find it to his advantage if his tweets were cited and linked from other blogs and websites.
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, as copyright is beginning to be a big issue among bloggers (incidentally, Splashpress Media and Performancing are offering copyright management services to bloggers). Twitter has its nuances, particualrly with the 140-character post limit. But if Haikus can be copyrighted–short as they are–can the same hold true for Twitter tweets?