Using all 140 characters on Twitter does not kill the re-Tweet.
Fewer than 120 characters should be your target for a Tweet, a couple of commenters said on my post about editing for Twitter. Maybe 110 if you want to include hashtags.
This allows people who want to re-Tweet a few characters to credit you as the source and if a sufficient number of people do that, then you go viral and your life improves in unfathomable ways.
Of course, someone might re-Tweet the re-Tweet, so let's say 100 chars, and if one of the re-Tweeters has a long name then maybe 90 is all we should allow.
I'm stubbornly sticking to 140 characters against all advice, and here's why. I find the Tweets containing the most information are also the most likely to be re-Tweeted (interested to know if other people have the same experience). I note that most information is not necessarily the same as the greatest number of characters.
And, the good news is that writing 140 character Tweets does not seem to stop me going viral (in a modest way, at least). Here is an example:
Huffington Post wrote:
Enter the news literacy movement. Situated in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University and the DC-based News Literacy Project, these entities, according to Stony Brook Dean Howard Schneider, seek to nurture "a generation of news consumers who would learn how to distinguish for themselves between news and propaganda, verification and mere assertion, evidence and inference, bias and fairness, and between media bias and audience bias--consumers, who could differentiate between raw, unmediated information coursing through the Internet and independent, verified journalism."
On Twitter I wrote exactly 140 characters:
News literacy movement seeks to nurture news consumers who can distinguish between verification and mere assertion. HuffPo http://tr.im/uFgs
It was picked up by @EvidenceMatters who wrote (138 chars):
rt @AdeMacLeod: News literacy movement nurtures news consumers who differentiate verification and mere assertion. HuffPo http://tr.im/uFgs
This was picked up by @murzee who wrote (137 chars):
RT @EvidenceMatters: rt @AdeMacLeod: News literacy : consumers to differentiate verification and mere assertion. HuffPo http://tr.im/uFgs
One could argue about the different meanings of the three Tweets (@EvidenceMatters gets my vote) but that's not the point. The point is that 140 characters did not kill the re-Tweet.