Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My Twitter Theory

In The Beginning

Blogs have always served a pretty standard purpose: they are individual's publishing platforms. In the early days, they often gave voice to essentially whatever the author was thinking - from political ideas to what they had for lunch. Blogging also came with a novel addition - RSS. RSS allows you to follow dozens of Blogs all with minimal effort.

This combination of a publishing platform and a way to syndicate it, made for huge possibilities.

As the medium grew up, people realized that the more specialized your blog was, the better. Focus just on politics, gadgets or even random web findings, and leave off the stuff about your lunch, and you'll get more readers, revenue and respect.

Along comes Twitter which says that you can keep a blog in 140 character chunks. Do bloggers, who have been refining their craft for years, laugh them off the scene? Nope, they totally embrace them. And here's my theory as to why:

Twitter allows you to maintain an old-school-what-I-had-for-lunch blog alongside your profession, finely tuned one - all with a minimum of effort.

At a 140 characters a pop, Twitter allows you to satisfy your personal blog needs without a minimum of energy. Also, at this point, many blogger's have RSS feed lists that overwhelm them. Twitter comes along solves this by giving you to the option to skip RSS entirely, push the content directly to your readers.

Why do you need a personal blog at all? Well, that's probably another topic for another day. I'd say that the reasons range from: you want to keep Mom and Dad informed of your weekend plans, to having a place to publish your wacky theories.

So What?

Why do I need a theory on Twitter anyway?

  • I'm trying to explain why smart people are so excited about Twitter.
  • I think it explains why Twitter is less interesting to me personally - my blog is a variety show already, I don't need one on the side.
  • If you considering starting a blog, you might want to start with Twitter. You can get all the benefits of a personal publishing platform in a package that couldn't be easier to keep updated.

Any suggestions for improving my theory (or is it a hypothesis? Can't remember which is which.)? Am I way off base?


  1. Anonymous11:05 AM

    You make some excellent points about Twitter. It is a great way for people to start an online dialogue and see if they can muster enough energy to effectively blog.

    I tried Twitter twice (say that three times fast) and could not maintain any enthusiasm even though I write at multiple blogs and content sites.

    Lunch was good, but it's really hot outside doesn't thrill me as copy. Reading about someone else's lunch is even less thrilling.

    Aren't you reminded of the folks in 24 who call each other on cell phones with ever-lasting battery life and say, "I'm driving down the freeway now" or "I'm shocking the prisoner with a lamp cord now"?

  2. Ben, you know George??? Famous former CARFAXian.

  3. George -

    You bring up a good point about twitter being a great platform for figuring out if you would enjoy blogging.

    Not only does it give you a way to express your opinion/thoughts/ideas/etc. in a compact way, but it forces you to be brief.

    This is a good thing. (In an effort to stay brief, I'll say no more on this topic.)

  4. Anonymous9:21 PM

    Paul, if you followed me on Twitter, you would know Ben and I were hanging out last week. Oh, that's right. I uninstalled the app.