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Twittering Vs. Blogging: Is Twitter a Blog Replacement or an Enhancement for Blogs?

I decided to come out of hibernation from blogging today, partly because it’s St. Patrick’s Day (I’m part Irish) but also because like most of you I’m completely blown away with the popularity of Twitter.

I mean, it’s everywhere. It’s on the news. It’s in magazines. Talk Show hosts even mention it. It’s CRAZY!

Some call it Twittermania. If you don’t believe me then just look at all of the third party apps that are being made for it, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s much more coming down the pipe.

As a hardcore blogger since blogs first began, I was initially taken aback with Twitter. Some might even accuse me of being cynical (but what the heynonnynonny do they know).

Out of curiosity I was one of the early adopters of Twitter. I dabbled a little but I never really took it seriously. I didn’t try to build a following and the highlight of my Tweeting career was when I traded barbs with the great Darren Rowse (but that’s another story).

Scoble was probably the first notable proponent of it and I recall commenting sarcastically that he only liked it because he couldn’t write that well. (I don’t think he ever forgave me for that.)

Even recently I wrote that Twitter was for lazy bloggers, and that it isn’t really blogging. (I took a shellacking for that one too).

But now everybody is doing it. Celebs, a-listers, politicians and us regular folk are all tweeting our little hearts out. It has become such a phenomena there is a whole new vocabulary of twitterisms being created every day.

Holy crap! It’s simply amazing. Who would have ever thunk?

I’ve even read rumours of Google’s demise as the premier search engine in favour of Twitter. That’s not bad for a company claiming to not make any money.

Come to think of it, that sounds a lot like YouTube when Google took it over doesn’t it. Must be ripe for the picking. (Psssst! Be sure to call your broker in the morning .. I accept kick-backs).

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus, and even curmudgeony Blog Bloke can change his mind.

Being the stubborn person that I am, I’m still holding to the view that Twitter is not “real” blogging, and I reject the notion that it can be considered as “micro-blogging”. Nevertheless, I have come to rethink my initial scorn and after careful consideration I realize now it’s importance and benefit to blogs.

I recently wrote (tweeted) in 140 characters or less:

1. The real advantage with using Twitter is because of the 140 character limitation we are able to cover more topics quicker than regular blogging…

2. Whereas regular blogs enable us to cover topics more in-depth than short burst announcements from Twitter. The two enhance each other rather nicely.

That’s not all. Many see Twitter as a marketing tool. Wait a minute, I could take that even further and say that it is an unbelievably effective tool.

Twitter is the ultimate opt-in marketing scheme.

Sure, I like to give the spam/marketers a little kick in the derriere once in awhile (only if they deserve it of course). But for legitimate marketers it is an amazing tool because of it’s inherent social nature.

Personally I still think of Twitter as more of a social “chat” tool than real blogging. But regardless of what definition you want to give it, it is indeed a boon to business and it will only get better.

If you are disabled or a shut-in, living in a sparsely populated area, or maybe you just prefer to socialise in the comfort of your home hiding behind a photo-shopped picture of yourself. No matter, because the really cool thing about Twitter is you can actually have a live conversation in real time with someone on the other side of the world, or with as many others within your Twitter community you like.

Everyone can jump in. It’s like a party in you ‘puter and you don’t have to pay premium prices for your drinks. Now that is way cool.

But this post isn’t about defining what Twitter is or isn’t. Rather, my purpose for writing is to declare what I have come to understand is the contribution (and importance) that Twitter has brought to the world of blogging.

I see Twitter more as an enhancement for bloggers - not a replacement for blogs.

For example:

  1. Twitter is twitterrific for making short, burst announcements. Kinda like those 30 second infomercials you hear on the radio. Short and tweet, and to the point.
  2. But when I say commercials I don’t necessarily mean for business. I see bloggers using Twitter for things like mentioning they’re working on a post for their (real) blog. It keeps your readers abreast of your activities, makes you more accessible and builds anticipation.
  3. Fortunately I haven’t heard anyone say they are off to visit the toilet yet (but who knows). Like any medium it can be used for good purposes or bad, and like the TV remote you can always turn them off
  4. I’ve had Twitter in my blog sidebar for several months now. I did that when I wasn’t blogging all that much for a very good reason. Not only does it add content to the blog, but the real benefit is it is being indexed by the search engines. So if I’m not feeling like writing a full blog post , my tweets continue to add content to the blog. Sweet.
  5. Like I said earlier it’s a terrific marketing tool if you are so inclined. There’s a plethora of posts already out there explaining the benefits of Twitter for business. So I won’t add to the noise, except to say it is stupendous for getting out there and mingling with other people (tweeps) and promoting your product or services. If used effectively (and ethically) it can be a real boon for those who are trying to make money off the web. (But please remember - the soft sell approach is far better than a brick over the head. Nuff said.)
  6. When I think of the term “marketing” I don’t just mean for business either. How about marketing yourself just to make new friends? There’s nothing wrong with that and we all have our reasons for spending time online. So long as we find balance, online friendships can be a terrific enhancement to our “real” world lives.

Still don’t believe me? Coincidentally I came across this video after writing this post. It’s by a Google employee attending the SXSW conference who says Twitter is dominating the buzz, and he confirms what I’ve been saying .. that Twitter is an extension of the blogging model. Take a look see for yourself:

So what’s the bottom line? Well for me I’m no longer a Twittercynic. I’m now a Twitterholic and I see it for what it really is. Twitter is not “real” blogging in its classic sense, but it most definitely is an asset to your blog arsenal.

Dare I say it? If you’re not Twittering, you’re just not cool. How about you?

…Oh yeah, I almost forgot – HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY Blokesters!

Written March 17th, 2009 by | 201 Comments | Filed under: Blog Tips, Featured Tips, Social Media Tips, Twitter Tips , ,

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201 Responses to “Twittering Vs. Blogging: Is Twitter a Blog Replacement or an Enhancement for Blogs?”

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  1. 1
    Mom Blogs Says:

    Blogs for Moms…

  2. 2
    mjoel Says:

    I wouldn’t say twitter is for the lazy blogger but this micro blogging platform ensures that your voice gets heard even beyond your blogging domain. I would say I was one of the late adopters of twitter but I have certainly caught up with others. Rather than being twitter v/s blogging for me its twitter with blogging :)
    mjoels last blog post…crista-lee_mitchell

  3. 3
    Blog Bloke Says:

    @mjoel, Thanks for dropping by.

  4. 4
    Rich Says:

    I think Twitter is attracting more followers because it is unique, and fresh ideas are being applied recently just like Twitter search.

    However, I believe some users though it’s not just another free advertising site or a traffic exchange. They don’t realize that most users are also looking for traffic just like them.

    If one wants to maximize the use of Twitter, he should study the system and the community.

  5. 5
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Rich, That’s what they’re trying to do at SXSW and they still can’t figure Twitter out.

  6. 6
    Sheree Motiska Says:

    I went from a bunch of spin off ideas that turned into potentially lovely blogs, but I am just one person.

    After a 6 month vacation and a bit of introspect, I came back and took everything down except one blog. I even started over completely because I had it linked together.

    I have been having a blast on Twitter and really having a lot better time getting my voice across in the right way. It’s all very inspiring to me. You can get your finger on the pulse of what people are doing.

    As of right now, it appears that everyone is trying to monetize everything. Having done exactly the opposite and building my experience and skills and making it very public about mistakes I’ve made, I have a different perspective.

    I must admit though, I am a serious Twitter addict and it’s pretty out of hand. I have a notebook next to me as I Twitter and I write down what it appears my followers are asking about or when I can save them time by sharing my own mistakes and stories.

    The problem? I need to get off of Twitter and get all of this stuff on my blog.

    I’m looking into some desktop blogging platforms that can help me to take what I’m doing and translate it to my blog right away. Wish me luck!

  7. 7
    Affordable Software Says:

    At this stage it is too early to really tell if twitter will be able to hold the dedicated fans a blog can. Since a blog you control all aspects and twitter controls almost all aspects of twitter (duh) so bad changes might lead to less users and less users mean your “blog” will die. In short look at history… this could have been said about myspace when they had the blog option and now myspace is on a slow decline to being like freindster… so fades change and so does tech but if you have your own site at least you can control your own destiney… to add to this I’m actually making a plugin now that will make your blog posts and twitter posts post to each other and also be very seo freidnly!

  8. 8
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Hi Sheree.

    Yes, Twitter is addictive because it is so easy and fun to use. But it can also be a great time waster if that is all you want to get out of it.

    I’m happy to see that you are using it as inspiration for your developing blog which is the right way to use it in my opinion. For me, Twitter is just another tool to hopefully transfer followers into readers of my blog. So far it seems to be working.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. 9
    Blog Bloke Says:

    @Affordable Software, you make a point that I have been making for years about social networks. We have total control over our own self-hosted blog, whereas social networks are just large websites that give you a little space at their discretion. They can pull the plug any time they want to and they also own your content.

  10. 10
    Alex Says:

    In my opinion twitter is a lot easier because you can find a lot of topics you are interested with easily instead of trying to find it through the web and with twitter you can stay connected to people anytime anywhere through mobile phones.

    Alexs last blog post…American Idol Top 11 Results, Replay | Season 8 American Idol 2009 Week 2 Recap

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