Thursday, March 12, 2009
Does Twitter Make You Dumbr?
Blogs are dead, so said Wired Magazine back in October — a casualty of Twitter and other micro-blogging platforms serving the short attention span generation (Flickr and Facebook were also named as blog-killers). But as I was catching up on the magazines that have been piling up in my [real world] inbox I saw an op-ed piece reassuring me the blog's demise has been greatly exaggerated: micro-blogging may be great for short-form content, trading links, etc. But having genuine conversation in 140 characters is practically impossible. And I think this is true — Twitter has its niche as a place to get out quick thoughts and blogs are great for having the space to develop those thoughts. Integrating the two can be a perfect match.
The sad realization I suddenly came to is that my addiction to reading and (to a lesser extent) posting tweets has made me remember how much I've been neglecting my blog. It's a relatively painless process to flit through the dozens of mail lists in my [digital] inbox, pick out interesting tidbits and links to share and post them on Twitter. I can do it while waiting for a big file to download or a Final Cut video to render. And skimming through the tweets of those I follow (please don't ask me to call them 'tweeple') is just as quick and easy. But ask me to sit down and plan out a blog post - oy veh! Of course I enjoy the end product of blogging and like the fact that blogs are so much less ephemeral than tweeting, but the process is much like working out at the gym: like the end result, hate the steps it takes to get there.
And worse than than neglecting longer form writing, with limited hours in the day all this tweeting does tend to take time away from sitting down and reading anything not delivered in short bursts. So then does Twitter make you dumber? Uhhhhhh....dunno.
Oh by the way, you can follow my ongoing Tweetaholism here twitter.com/josephmann
Paul Boutin. "Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004" Wired Magazine. October 2008.
Tony Byrne. "Blogs are Dead! Long Live Blogging!" EContent Magazine. Jan/Feb 2009. p.22
Photo "Dunce Cap" by citizen_smith58 used under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported license. Twitter bird added.