Mar 30 2008

Has Twitter Ruined Blogging?

Earlier today, someone – I can’t remember who, I follow too many people – commented on Twitter (tweeted, I guess) that “Twitter is the gateway drug to blogging.” I wholeheartedly disagree.

Of the many, many messages I sent out on Twitter over the past week, five of them could have easily been blog entries. In fact, at least two of the messages probably would have turned into blog entries, had I not already released the emotions and thoughts around each over Twitter. That’s kind of a shame, the entries would have been interesting. But I truly don’t feel like writing them now. I already did, in very short form.

A blog entry requires actual writing. A somewhat decently written “article” focused around a thought. There is time involved, no matter how short the entry is, which means there is always a time delay from the moment I come up with the thought to the satisfaction of posting the entry. A computer is also required, since I don’t like typing a lot on my blackberry. I used to come up with ideas for blog entries and save them for later. I’d email them to myself at home, scribble them down on a post-it, whatever. These days, instead of saving an idea for a later blog entry, I immediately post it on Twitter.

All you need for Twitter is a phone. There isn’t any real writing or time involved, since the largest a “tweet” can be is 140 characters. I’m able to immediately release the thought, and forget about it. Or watch and see what other people think, which, let’s face it, is what a lot of us do when we’re writing anything we share with the public. I’ve asked questions in this blog – I’m doing it right now. I’ve also done the same over Twitter. We all crave interaction and responses. Why wait until a blog entry can be written when we can instantly get the thought out over Twitter?

I know I’ve been blogging less since I first started using Pownce, then moved to Twitter. For me, Pownce was the gateway drug to Twitter. Twitter’s character limit is truly what did it for me. I can’t think a lot about a tweet, it’s too short. I could blab a bit on Pownce.

We all once said that “push” technology would change the Internet. Pointcast, right? Well, it took a while, but look…it happened. I always have Twitter on, and I’m always checking it. It’s right there, pushed to my screen. From the major to the mundane, the 154 people I’m following on Twitter right now are always talking about something I’m interested in. And believe me, following 154 people is a somewhat small number for Twitter. I get my news from Twitter, even, my coworkers laugh at me for how often I end up saying “I just read on Twitter that….” Who needs a newspaper, when I have CNN Breaking News on Twitter?

To those of you who haven’t discovered Twitter yet, beware. Remember your life before email? One day you’ll remember your life before Twitter. I truly believe the impact will be just as significant. We may not always be using this one service, but the lifestreaming Twitter has created won’t be going away anytime soon. We are genuinely interested in the tiny details of other people’s lives, just like they’re interested in the details of ours. They say everyone’s a voyeur. Do I really need to know that someone is ‘going to get a glass of coke?’ Or someone else is ‘putting the baby to bed?’ Not at all. But I keep following….

Find me on Twitter as @stephaniebambam.

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