Twitter to Release Curation Feature Tomorrow

Tweets about this, Tweets about that; there are Tweets flying all over Twitter about all kinds of things, but no easy way to display one or more of them gracefully on a website or blog. Until tomorrow, that is.

In a post today on the company’s blog for media companies interested in using the service, Twitter highlighted ReadWriteWeb’s use of screenshots in highlighting the smartest Tweets about last week’s HP/Palm deal. “But the truth, of course, is that a pasted-in image of a tweet is a bit of a hack,” the company wrote. “We have an alternative to propose; it’s coming tomorrow.” We emailed the company and they told us what it is!

Robin Sloan, who works on Media Partnerships at Twitter, explained thusly:

The alternative is super-simple: just a little script that generates a block of HTML that looks just like an embedded tweet, but is just normal HTML text (instead of a flat image). Should be a handy tool — (I know I plan to use it a lot on Twitter Media).

That sounds like a small but exciting feature!

Uber-curator Robert Scoble has been talking about the need for some easier way to curate social media signals. Of this new feature, he told us by phone from Israel: “It’s nice. It’s a good little step along the path that we need to get to real time curation. I’d like to be able to bundle Tweets and tag them.” Scoble recently wrote about what he calls the 7 big-picture needs of real-time curators, and embedding Tweets wasn’t one of those. “A curator is an information chemist,” he wrote in that post. “He or she mixes atoms together in a way to build an info-molecule. Then adds value to that molecule.”

This is a little reminiscent of European blogger Robin Good’s argument a few years ago that a concept called Newsmastering was going to become the chic occupation at any firm with business touched by the online river of news. For some reason that hasn’t happened yet. It seems that online curation, editorial selection of items flowing through dynamic collections of online sources, has proven too removed from direct, immediate and crude value to have caught on with more than a handful of companies, most of which were already in the publishing business.

Twitter has high hopes for its favorite feature and may very well be adding more curation-type tones to that in the future, as well.

Either way, starting tomorrow, you’ll apparently be able to click a link and get some code you can paste onto a blog to display a Tweet. That’s cool.

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