Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What you need to know about Twitter

So here it is late Wednesday, and I am blogging about my Financial Post column this week on Twitter.

I Tweeted (wrote a Twitter message) about it on Monday. Twice.

And that essentially demonstrates the difference between Tweeting and blogging. One is convenient, the other requires thinking. And who has time for that any more?

Blogging is a great way to get across a continuing series of messages to your marketplace or community through ongoing short essay-type articles posted directly to the Web.

Twitter is like mini-blogging, except you are allotted a maximum of 140 characters, or about 20-25 words.

Blogging means you have to think about what you are going to say, and how you are going to structure your message. Then you have to type it up and format it for the Web. Even a minor post will probably take 10-15 minutes, and often much more.

And if you're not the type who likes to string two sentences together, blogging can be a daunting challenge.

Twitter, by contrast, is blogging on speed. No time for niceties about paragraph construction, developing your argument, communicating multiple ideas. Just one or two sentences, and ZAP!, you're done.

It turns out you can communicate a lot in 20 words. But if you know what you want to say, it needn't take more than a minute or two.

Which makes Twitter a perfect medium for today's attention-deficit times. People who don't have time to compose essays writing short, singular messages for people who don't have time to read.

I started out thinking Twitter was a toy, but now I realize it's a powerful specialty medium that almost anyone can use. Plus, it builds community faster than blogging, or websites. And it's viral: you follow other people, and then you start following the people that these other people follow.

Relationships ensue.

So my Post article goes into this stuff in greater depth. And in the spirit of Twitter, I wrote it entirely in paragraphs of 140 characters each (give or take 1 or 2). It's annoying, but I think it works.

Click here to read the story.

Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

Jacki Hollywood Brown said...

Great post & great article.

Easy to read. Points stand out well. No drivel.

Twitter rocks.