kyle cassidy (kylecassidy) wrote,
kyle cassidy

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The role of Twitter in a blogging world

For the past decade I've spent some time and thought and energy into blogging -- and looking back, I think that if you printed the whole thing out and put it between covers it wouldn't be such a bad read. So I'm relatively conscientious about what I post. Last week this blog got about 75,000 visitors and the week before, more than 100,000 and I feel some sense of obligation to keep all of you entertained and not overburdened -- adding this sentence will suck up something like 111 person hours of your collective time. Invariably whenever I make a long post a few readers on LiveJournal drop me and I attribute it to fatigue. Looking back at old entries, I used to make shorter posts sometimes multiple times a day as did a lot of people. Lately the venue for casual observations, memes, quotations and more frivolous communication has become Facebook or Twitter where people natter on about people who just cut them off or what they're having for dinner or how funny the cat looks sleeping in the sock drawer. And on Twitter and Facebook I feel less compelled to be poignant because if I'm boring people, it's only for a few words.

I'd resisted Twitter for a long time until Neil Gaiman pointed out that I could tweet "I've updated my blog" and that to me seemed useful. And I've since found it to be a nice relief valve for blogging -- trillian_stars and I went out to a bunch of art galleries last night and bought a painting and then spent some time goofing off in alleys with the iPhone (see below) and while it wasn't earth shattering enough that I felt the need to sit down and write it up in a way that would thrill and entertain, it was exactly the sort of thing I didn't feel guilty updating Twitter about half a dozen times.

Twitter's not a substitute for blogging, and it's not going to kill blogging, rather it's an accessory. Properly used the two complement one another, allowing people to be reserved and thoughtful when applicable, and frivolous when necessary. As far as I can tell, it's largely erased memes from LiveJournal and the one word posts ("Sigh") have gone away as well. Meaningful interaction hasn't gone away, it's still here, but your blog no longer has to function as one stop shopping.

Trillian's World iPhonetography

(And it's fun watching William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy tweet back and forth about dinner.)

Add me as a friend on LiveJournal, Add me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter.

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