Blog or Twitter?

8 12 2008

I haven’t blogged for quite some time now, and even my feed reader is covered by virtual cobwebs these days. Being busy is the first excuse that comes to mind – and I’ve been insanely busy in the last few weeks – but of course you always find time to do what you love. And I do love writing and reading blog posts and comments. On the other side, I’ve been twittering quite a bit lately, resembling the character in this gaping void cartoon that Andy Piper mentioned in a recent Web 2.0 presentation of his:


by Hugh MacLeod, gapingvoid

I was actually late to the Twitter party. My first tweet was dated April 16th, 2007 but I only started using it often a few months ago.

Switching completely from blogs to Twitter is very tempting. You may struggle to write a blog post from time to time, but you always have an answer to the question “What are you doing right now?”. That may result in tweets that go from mundane (“back to my dorm”), to cryptic (“VARIA: Files Antwerpen”), to bizarre (abracadabra and decaf???) to history-in-the-making, like in the Mumbai attacks. The atomic nature of Twitter holds an enormous potential that’s not fully realized yet. But does that mean that blogs are really dying?

Paul Boutin, from Valleywag, created some buzz when he wrote in the November issue of the WIRED magazine:

Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug. (…) The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.

The trend towards minimalism in communications was nicely covered by Jeremy Kaplan (Time magazine) in his befitting short article Haiku Nation. If you find 140 characters too limiting, visit smithmag’s Six-Word Memoirs and you may find that the 1120-bit ceiling for SMS is plenty. Supporting his micro-writing argument, Jeremy lists the NaNoWriMo 12-word novel challenge, the 5-word reviews blog for London musicals and plays, and the always popular 4-word film review site (the reviews on Titanic are just hilarious).

And, of course, there’s a whole series you can find in YouTube shrinking popular movies to their bare essence, such as “Rocky in 5 Seconds”:

Nobody knows for sure if blogs will follow the way of the dodo and GeoCities, or if we are just witnessing the ultra fragmentation of media channels. I expect blogs to be around for a long time, evolving with the other social media, as opposed to being replaced by them. Blogging is still my preferred way of communicating as it allows one to more effectively construct an argument and have meaningful conversations. And of course, you can tell by the length of this post that being succinct has never been my forté 😉

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6 responses

10 12 2008
Li

After 4 years of blogging. There are lots of my blogs that I don’t care to re-read, but some are funny enough, or sentimental enough that have stood the test of time. I enjoy going back in time and remind myself what I was thinking oh so long ago. I’d definitely say more of the gems were the shorter ones. Probably because I was more succinct, direct and blunt in the shorter ones. Less fluff, less digression.

The problem I have with twitter and its cohorts is the vast amount of information it produces. It’s harder to go back and pick out and re-enjoy the gems. I’d think there is a lot more of the mundane stuff (eating apple, picking nose, etc) that are not worth revisiting.

The other thing is I like to have choice. The choice of writing something long or short, depending on my mood. I’m not a fan of restriction.

The complaint I have about blogs, mine in particular, is how difficult it is to add photo or video. It’s a limitation of my software, as well as lack of time to edit media. I want to one day be able to instantaneously record what I’m seeing and post it.

10 12 2008
Li

I’ll add. The choice of blog vs twitter is about who are you doing this for? Are you writing for yourself? or communicating an idea? (my case: yes), then blog is the better format, more substance. But if you are writing to keep your friends/world up to date on what’s happening with your life, then yes twitter is the quick, easy, instant channel. Each has its own purpose. I don’t see one replacing the other, but a co-existence like what you are doing yourself.

11 12 2008
ROI 2.0, Part 1: Bean counters vs Innovators - The need for a real exchange of ideas « The bamboo raft

[…] due to its complexity and scope, and it’s also a dry subject, not as flashy as talking about Twitter or cool beer ads. Nonetheless, blogging is my way of thinking out loud, so I’ll give it a try […]

11 12 2008
ROI 2.0, Part 1: Bean counters vs Innovators - The need for a real exchange of ideas « The bamboo raft

[…] due to its complexity and scope, and it’s also a dry subject, not as flashy as talking about Twitter or cool beer ads. Nonetheless, blogging is my way of thinking out loud, so I’ll give it a try […]

11 12 2008
Aaron

Li, long time no talk! I miss listening to your stories. I share your habit of revisiting old entries as a time machine of sorts. I blog for myself – not that I have much of a choice, my readership is really low.

I find dead easy to add pics in WordPress (I use ScribeFire). Videos are more complicated, as you need to have them in YouTube or a handful of popular sites before adding them to WP.

Are you in Twitter? If so, let me know of your handle.

25 12 2008
Alvin Phang And Atomic Blogging Review | How to Blog For Money

[…] Blog or Twitter? […]

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