Atwitter Over Twitter

The web (or at least the blogging subset) is all caught up in Twitter maddness. Twitter is a service that allows people to follow users in their day to day adventures through alerts to your phone or on the net. The reaction has been of ‘excitement’. While much of the reaction has been positive, there has been some resentment towards the service as well. Meanwhile, some bloggers, who were initially skeptical, have fallen for it.

I started off blogging as a way to keep track of what I was doing on a day to day basis. I posted nearly every day; some days, I’d post more than once. My blog ended up being quite tiresome. I felt as though I was obligated to post something every day; as you can imagine, there were plenty of posts filled with, ‘I don’t really have anything to say, but I’m writing nonetheless for the sake of it.’ Perhaps in that state, this blog could’ve been transferred completely over to a Twitter-like system. Essentially, I was writing short snippets of my daily happenings anyways. I don’t completely regret following that sort of writing style. I find it interesting to look back upon my daily events, and I’m sure it’ll be especially nice several years down the road. Don’t get me wrong, I still write about things that happen in my life. Instead of every little, unnecessary detail, I’m posting only things that are significant.

But Twitter’s all about writing every detail of your daily life. A quick look at the home page will net you gems such as:

  • Watching TV
  • THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING RUG EVER
  • feeling hungry. it’s time to go for lunch
  • I’ve been on an updating frenzy.. virb, livejournal, flickr, twitter.. I have them all.. I suppose thats a problem.

That last one’s especially candid. With so many networking services, it’s not too difficult to see how fragmented our attention span has, or will, become. Over at the Creating Passionate Users blog, a post on Twitter points out the fact that time between interruptions (be it from our cell phones, the web, IM, etc) is quickly dwindling to 0 (well, you get the idea). I’d probably go crazy if my phone was constantly beeping, indicating yet another trivial and pointless message…

I’ll give Twitter one thing. It could be rather interesting for high profile persons. While I couldn’t care less about being ‘connected’ with my friends every minute of the day, seeing what someone like Steve Jobs does in the run of a mill day would be entertaining. It’s extraordinarily unlikely that would ever happen. I’m pretty sure there would be some concern about unwanted attention in the real world. The truth is, most of our lives aren’t terribly interesting, all the time. Tell me the significant incidents in a well written blog. I don’t care for your thought of the moment in 140 characters or less.

I’m sure a significant proportion of the blogs out there are based on describing one’s day to day activities, just like how this one started out. However, blog’s are also a source of information. There are countless how-to’s, reviews, and troubleshooting articles. A Google search for just about any problem will usually result in at least one blog post describing a solution or possible solution. A platform like Twitter threatens the content of blogs. I’m not concerned that personal bloggers are finding Twitter to their satisfaction, but it’s when a person like Jason Calacanis says publicly he’s doing most of his ‘blogging’ on Twitter that it really strikes home: Blog content is getting killed. It’ll reduce the amount of ‘good’ content available.

It’s pretty difficult to write anything substantial in those 140 characters Twitter affords you. I just hope Jason is an exception and not the rule.

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