The ‘bookmarklet’, when activated, looks out sentences with less than 140 characters in a text and displays them in red. All you then have to do is click on a suitable phrase to create a message which is ready to send out on the Twitter micro-blogging platform.
Information sent via Twitter is often in the form of links, citing the title of an article, plus perhaps a comment from the Twitter subscriber who posted it. However, if you’re a member of, say, a reader network, chances are that you would often like to send a quote or sentence which underlines a particular point you want to make. But it’s not always all that easy to find a brief phrase of less than 140 characters, if you want to avoid amending the text or using abbreviations. This is what led Paul Ford, former editor of Harper’s Magazine and a computer programmer, to develop SavePublishing, a system that enables a user to tweet a message simply by clicking on it.
Downloadable bookmark, clickable text
The system, which consists of a web extension, just needs to be added as a bookmark into the task bar. When you land on the website where relevant text is to be found, you then activate it simply by clicking on it. The SavePublishing tool then scans sentences, working out the number of spaces between words. Those sentences that can be tweeted without any modification appear in red. Once you find a piece of red text that highlights the point you wish to make, all you have to do is click on it and the Twitter interface appears as a pop-up, incorporating the sentence plus the URL of the article. You then have a ready-made tweet all set to go out to your network. This can clearly be a useful and time-saving service, though at the moment it is still in its early stages and there are some drawbacks.
Some gloops to be ironed out…
At the moment, for example, a user may find the end of one phrase crammed together with the beginning of the next – all of it shown in red if these sentences have only been separated by a comma or dashes for example. Another drawback is that SavePublishing focuses – by definition – on picking out groups of words according to their tweetable size rather than their useful information content. Still, there’s no denying the basic usefulness of having a way of rendering all contents of a text ‘clickable’ and ready-packaged for your Twitter followers.