Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why Twitter?

Twitter factors regularly into discussions of my day. And evening. And television viewing. And special events.

It is like crack for the conversationally starved brain. And my blogs have suffered for it, I know.


A blog post can take me 10-45 minutes to write. Brain dump a thought and develop it as far as I want to go. Go back, reread, edit out, change things around, cut, add, spellcheck.

It's a great way for me to work through something I'm thinking about. If I'm cleaning the kitchen and one idea stays in my head the whole time, it's worth blogging so I can get it out of my head. Thought-processing 101.

When blogs began, we imagined they were conservations. It wasn't the initial post that mattered as much as the post and the comments that accompanied it. But people rarely comment on posts. If everyone who read a piece left a comment, maybe (maybe) blogging would be what it always promised to be. It appears that way if you look at some of the "bigger" blogs. Getting 50 or 200 comments, while overwhelming I'm sure, is definately the way to get a conversation going.

My blogs are much too quiet to be conservations. They feel like monologues. Like I'm talking to myself (which I do all the time anyway, so why take the time to record it?)

Anyway, back to Twitter.

Most of the things I ponder don't stay with me long enough to spend 45 minutes on. And, though I've done it before, I'm over the idea of blogging tv shows or events. What I crave is to share a simple thought with some people and maybe have someone react right away. A little give and take. Some conversation.

And twitter does that.

It does that for me. It does that for Amy Gahran. It does that for Adam Stewart.

I am not saying that apps like Twitter ring the death knell for blogs. I think they widen the scope of the conversation and place blogs into a spectrum of conversational tools. More open than email or forums, more detailed than microblogging, more essay than conversation. It's easy to begin an idea on Twitter, develop it more thoroughly on a blog, then return to Twitter and invite others into the conversation. This tends to result in a mix of comments and tweets... conversation on two planes from one post.

If you twitter, how much of this is true for you?

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.