11.08.2008

Blogging vs. Twittering

I was just reading an article in Wired that basically says Blogging is Dead. The reasons they lay out make some pretty broad assumptions about the reasons that people blog. For example, they say the chances of a well written article/post by a nobody like me showing up high in search results is virtually nil. And I can accept that. I used to blog with an eye to notoriety and expected book deals, groupies and Google AdSense millions to come my way anyday.

While I wouldn't complain if that happened, it is no longer even in the top five or ten reasons why I blog. Sure, I'd love to get paid to blog but it pays me in other ways. Like having gotten to know good people like Amy, Ryan, Lujza, Nutsy, Rick, Jack, the rather awesome fellas at the Mint 400, Easy and more (apologies if I didn't list every single blog I read here, it started to get silly). Blogging has become a sort of therapy for me. Mixed in among the ejaculate posts about politics, celebrity idiocy and news are posts about what makes me tick, about things that are important to me. Plus, it gives interested members of my family, who are mostly bound to the east coast, a chance to check in and see where my head is at, leave a comment or two and stay in touch.

Twitter, as much as I love it for its immediacy, funky community and brevity, has no staying power. A great tweet is off the page in an hour and gone for good in a day. During one of the presidential debates, I took part in a live Twitter chat during the debate (I'm sure Jay remembers the hundred or so tweets in an hour and a half). And I have some wicked funny comments, one liners and observations. But they are all so far down my tweet list now as to be gone forever.

And, maybe its my age showing, but I rather enjoy a little bit of permanence. Plus, the blog is a measure of my feelings, thoughts and what was important to me at the time. And yes, even the stupid low-brow attempts at political humor count.

Blogging offers a way to explore events and feelings in far greater depth. Twittering is, in many ways, a symptom and manifestation of our ADD society.

I remember a tweet by Brittneyg to the effect that she had such a short attention span, she wasn't even reading full tweets anymore, she was skimming them. What does it say about our society when we can't even slow down enough to read 140 characters?

I don't think blogging is dead but it might be if you're planning on starting a blog to change the world and get rich. That landscape has been claimed and is now being dominated by professional writers with teams of researchers. And, oddly enough, I don't read many of those blogs because they are so impersonal. I prefer blogs written by just a couple of people who I can possibly develop a relationship with, discuss things with and not be yet another anonymous commenter.

But Twitter has its place too. And I'm sure there's something else just around the corner that will shoulder its way into the mix as well. Like Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube and other social networking sites (things like Facebook but not Facebook because I absolutely refuse to agree to their ridiculous terms of use).
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