Wednesday, December 03, 2008

To twit or not to twit

I've just read a shallow article in this month's Wired that has me thinking about blogging. The article is entitled "Kill Your Blog" in the magazine version, a title that has been changed in the online version. The article declares the death of blogging as a fresh and active medium, and advocates the use of Facebook, Flickr and Twitter as a replacement. It says:

"The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It's almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter."
Call me old-fashioned, but how can a 140 character twit contend with a blog post? While it is true that most of the blogosphere is filled with hot air and inanities, it is still a great place to find updated information and good analysis on a variety of topics.

New blogs will not make it to the top of Technorati, so what? Will a twit suffice? I'm sceptical. I constantly get tired of the obsession with Twitter from some media types and cool-hunters, it is an interesting tool, but the thing I dislike about Twitter is that it seems to favour the self-obsessed and their need to showcase their boring lives. I suspect that there are legions of people walking around thinking of doing something only because it will make for a great Twitter entry.

Granted, it is possible that I don't like Twitter because I suffer from chronic un-coolness.


Anonymous said...

Every now and then we hear about the death of email, blogs, books and cinemas... I just don't get what these writers are trying to prove unless it's their own ignorance. Different mediums for different purposes :)

Unknown said...


I read the same article and had the same reaction -- if we're ditching blogs, let's ditch telephones and the postal system while we're at.

Has nothing to do with me being a blogger -- nothing at all!

Anonymous said...

oooohhh yes. Thank you for saying this. Of course, I'm an old blogger too (and one who has a tendency to write long posts).

Multiple channels. Multiple purposes.

John H said...

Straight after reading your post, I then read this (on a blog!) which I think nails Twitter's main benefit: superficiality as the basis of true relationships.

Certainly there are a lot of people I've known for some years on the blogosphere who I now know a lot better as a result of interacting with them on Twitter, precisely because it is more "superficial" and low-key.

Someone called it "ambient awareness": the accumulation of small details that gives us an overall picture of someone's life and personality, in a way that the more studied and self-conscious medium of blogging may not really allow.

As others have said: there is room for more than one type of communication, so it's ludicrous to talk about Twitter "killing" blogging or whatever. That said, I do feel it is harder for new blogs to get an audience now: those of us who are "old hands" at blogging are often still mainly following the same people we did in 2004, and the signal-to-noise ratio gets worse over time.

Andres Guadamuz said...

Kim, as a fan of your long posts, I can't imagine you on Twitter :)