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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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!