In 2008, Twitter really started to hit the mainstream and bloggers began adding widgets to their sidebars to display their latest tweets.
In 2009, Twitter will become much more tightly integrated with the rest of the blog in a variety of ways - watch out for tweetbacks and tweetstats to make their debut, and tweet comments to TwitterRolls to start appearing on blogs. Here are 10 ways Twitter will impact blogs this year.
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Bloggers will start to add "Tweetbacks" to their blog posts. The simplest version will show the number of people who have tweeted this post (including all reverse engineered tinyurls). Tweetbacks are not yet available.
Options will include:
* Showing what tweeters are saying about the post
* Replies to those tweets from others
* Showing who is tweeting the post
* Showing the tweeters' avatars
* Ordering tweeters by Twitter influence
* Mixing tweets in with comments, rather than displaying them separately
In addition to "most read," "most commented" type sections in blog sidebars, bloggers will add "most tweeted" and "recently tweeted" blog posts sections. These Tweetstats are not yet available.
Some bloggers will ditch catch-all social networking plugins AddThis and ShareThis and just use TweetThis, finding this to be the most effective way of sharing new links online. Watch Twitter move up into the first tab of the ShareThis plugin.
4. Tweets move out of the sidebar
More bloggers will mix blog posts and tweets into a single column together a la Tumblr, rather than keeping them in the sidebar. More new themes will have a built-in style for displaying tweets in an elegant way amongst blog posts. Wordpress users will find the Twitter tools plugin useful.
5. Tweet comments
Blog visitors will be able to comment on tweets displayed within a blog - whether they are a Twitter user or not. Wordpress users will find the Twitter tools plugin useful.
6. BlogTweet feeds
Blog feeds will have the option of including or excluding tweets - made simple thanks to Yahoo pipes. Follow this video tutorial to see how to do it.
7. Blog comment form changes
Some bloggers will add a form field for people to fill in their Twitter account name when adding comments on blogs. Others will change the common "website" label to "website/Twitter page." Useful for visitors without their own blog or website but who use Twitter. See the WP-Twitip-ID Plugin Wordpress plugin.
8. New sidebar widgets
* Favorites widget - display recent favorite tweets
* This day in history widget - display a user's tweets from a year ago (or longer) Not yet available.
In addition to blog rolls, bloggers will list their favorite tweeters and optionally a short note on why they're worth following to help others discover new tweeters.
10. Blog design influenced by Twitter themes
While many bloggers change their Twitter theme to match their blog's themes as closely as possible, this will also work in reverse. Influenced by Twitter's design, bloggers will use more background images on their blogs and use the limitations of theming their Twitter page to influence how they design their blog. Expect to see more blog headers rotated ninety degrees anti-clockwise and more blog sidebars on the right hand side.