Getting serious with Twitter
I’m gutted. I thought that blogging was where it is at—the cutting edge of the “new media” wave transforming modern communication. But I now discover that I’m at least four years behind the times—a veritable dinosaur in the world of “Web 2.0!”
Which is why I’m pushing myself out on a limb with a bold experiment in social network communication this week!
November’s edition of Wired Magazine ran a story entitled “Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004.” And just in case you didn’t get the message about blogging from the title, the opening paragraph rammed it home:
“Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug.”
The blogosphere is being deluged by a stream of “paid bilge” according to the article… drowning out the voices of original writers. But as one form of self-expression becomes overwhelmed, others emerge—and social networking sites like YouTube, Flickr and Facebook are where the action is these days.
Add to that list Twitter—a high profile “microblogging” site that is attracting a growing following. According to Wired,
“Twitter … is to 2008 what the blogosphere was to 2004.”
However, Twitter limits posts to text messages no longer than 140 characters—including spaces. Great for letting friends and family know you have just had your first coffee of the day. But what if you want to impart some slightly more substantive words of wisdom?
I suspect that web-based social networking is in danger of flooding our lives with trivia, making it increasingly hard to assimilate and make use of complex information. Yet if this is where people are exchanging ideas and “hanging out” these days, perhaps it’s time to experiment with using the “new” new media, rather than simply dismissing it.
And so for the next five days—starting Monday—I propose to roll up my sleeves and attempt some serious “twittering.”
Here’s the plan: Between Monday December 8 and Friday December 12, I aim to submit five non-trivial posts a day to the 2020science Twitter feed that tackle emerging science and technology issues—that’s emerging science and technology at 700 characters per day!
I suspect I’m setting myself up for failure here. But I did want to see whether it’s possible to convey something meaningful within the attention-span of today’s web-users. Because—and this is probably important—as more and more people become part of the digital sound-bite community, effective communication will depend on working within the new media—despite its flaws.
(Expressed in 2720 characters – including spaces)