Cafe Witness

Monday, February 09, 2009

Twitter Is a Mistress Who Demands All My Time

Day 43

As you may have noticed, I've not blogged much lately -- but I've been Twittering like a fiend.

Why?

Because Twitter is far more immediate than blogging, requiring far less attention to detail and almost zero long-term commitment; it's the one-night stand of social media communications, while blogging involves trust, semi-permanence and the occasional post-hangover apology.

But as fellow Twitterer (and blogger) Mack Collier mentioned in a recent tweet, there's still a reason or two to blog: comments and perpetuity.

Twitter is great for stream-of-consciousness observations and spur-of the moment conversations, but it provides minimal connectivity or context. Unless you were "there" when that "conversation" took place, you'd never be able to piece the whole story together without painstakingly searching through the timestamped tweets of everyone involved. (I know Plurk does that better, but let's be realistic; no one you know is using Plurk BUT NOT Twitter.)

Blogs allow a coherent (we hope) thought to exist in relative perpetuity, web-wise, and it also allows the comments of all involved to be attached in context, so that something resembling a "whole story" can be easily understood even months or years after the fact. So, obviously, there's SEO-driven and self-legitimizing reasons to blog, and to allow others to comment back to you.

But in this age of 140-character Twitter gratification, is anyone thinking in structured paragraphs anymore? Or have we reprogrammed ourselves to make sweeping statements in the shortest sentences possible? Does the concept of expanded and supported thought wither when everything we know about someone is gleaned from text bites?

I'll be attending the Social Communications Summit in NYC tomorrow; perhaps I'll come home with answers. Meanwhile, look for tweets from the event, and (if it warrants one) a blog post afterward.

(Wise men once claimed that "content" is key, but I wonder if "context" will surpass it...)

Image by ClawzCTR.

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8 Comments:

  • Agreed. For a while all my FB friends wondered where I'd gone...and I used to blog daily, but Twitter isn't the only one responsible for that. I find @chrisbrogan's ideas/thoughts most useful as I think about returning to more blogging.

    have fun in NYC! (Color me green!)

    By Blogger suzi w., at 6:35 PM  

  • I've found myself sort of sharing notes and starting conversations on Twitter, and getting more into the subject on the blog. ie. I tweeted pictures and updates from my vacation in NYC this weekend, then tweeted about my Xbox Red Ring ordeal last night, and used my Twitter convo and notes as a basis for a more extensive blog post on each last night. It's a nice coexistance...

    By Blogger Sorgatron, at 9:40 AM  

  • One other thing twitter doesn't give ping backs.

    http://twitter.com/MrDirby/statuses/1195895704

    You should write the first twitter book. Seriously you'd probably get props for being the first.

    By OpenID casualmagic, at 11:22 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Justin Kownacki, at 1:36 AM  

  • Actually, Laura Fitton (aka Pistachio) is writing Twitter for Dummies, which should be out later this year.

    (I misspelled "Laura" and had to delete the last comment. Dear Blogger: please allow your blog owners to edit their comments after the fact. Thanks.)

    By Blogger Justin Kownacki, at 1:38 AM  

  • I am doing the same thing, spending more time on twitter than my blog.

    BUT, I am finding that Twitter conversations often lead to new blog posts. And often, the people that come from Twitter to read those posts, are discovering my blog for the first time.

    So in some ways, my blogging is better now because I am spending more time on Twitter.

    At least I hope it is ;) PS thanks for the link, apologies for not commenting sooner!

    By Blogger Mack Collier, at 10:22 PM  

  • No problem, Mack. I also agree that Twitter provides great bite-sized fodder that may eventually coalesce into a full-sized blog post.

    So, basically, ideas begin on Twitter, take shape as blogs, and are then promoted again on Twitter -- where they presumably spark new ideas. I think we've mapped out The Circle of (Social Media) Life...

    By Blogger Justin Kownacki, at 10:36 PM  

  • i am agree with you guys i feel same here

    By Anonymous aamiits, at 4:11 PM  

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