E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Micro-Blogging and The Obvious?

While the Internet blogosphere seems to have been taken by storm earlier on today on the recent acquisition from Jaiku by Google, here I am observing how it is all going to pace out over the course of time and reflecting at the same time some more on a follow up weblog post from Matt Moore on a blog article I created yesterday around the subject of how Twitter can be used quite effectively in emergencies.

In Microblogging Matt comes to question whether all of these micro-blogging social software tools, like Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku and whatever else, could actually be flagged as micro-blogging when he feels he generally breaks the 160 (140, actually) characters that Twitter allows you to use and clearly separates micro-blogging from blogging itself altogether:

"For me, a blog post has to have an idea in there. It may not be yours. It may not be any good. But it’s there."

While I agree with Matt’s comments in that particular respect, i.e. that’s essentially what blogging is all about, I don’t think we should underestimate the power of using short, powerful messages compressed so densely that could be used in such tools as well. Yes, I agree with him that all of them fall more under the online presence arena, yet, I am not sure I would buy his comments that they all feel like Instant Messaging either, because they don’t. Where is the instant bit from a tweet where it could take a few hours before people may react… Hummm. What do you think?

However, what I found interesting from his blog post was actually his comments from the above quote I just mentioned and how you cannot restrict those ideas from blog posts to such short sentences and still be called (Micro-)blogging.

Well, he does bring in a good point, but let me show you how it is actually possible to do just that. The Obvious? Yes, that is right. Euan Semple‘s own blog. If you go and check out some of Euan’s blog posts, you would be able to see how some of his most engaging and thought-provoking blog entries are actually less than 140 characters. I don’t know how he does it. I wish I could do the same. I guess I am not as gifted as he is, but The Obvious? is surely one of those blogs that glues together both the concepts of micro-blogging and blogging successfully, whether you are using a blog, Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce or whatever other social software tool. He does transmit the ideas in such condense doses that sometimes you have to step back, read through, think and engage in the conversation(s) further.

The key message, as Matt says, is to have an idea and whether you manage to push it through in less than 140 characters or many more, that is irrelevant. The heart of the matter is to get the conversation going. And if there is anything obvious, is that examples like Euan’s blog help demonstrate clearly that it is possible…

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  1. Luis – I take your point that Twitter comments persist in a way that IM messages may not (but SMS does) however I certainly wasn’t trying to create a hierarchy with longer messages over shorter. It’s just that blogging doesn’t seem like the right description for what goes on with Twitter.

    And you can convey much with little (as some of Euan’s work indicates) but I don’t think people are using Twitter to convey ideas necessarily in the same way that blog posts (can) do. I’m really uncomfortable with the microblogging label because I think that something else is going on here and it doesn’t provide much illumination.

  2. Nice write up Luis.
    I am intrigued to see how you describe Jaiku as a microblogging tool. I experience Jaiku as a presence tool: signalling to my friends where I am, what I do, without me having to pay specific attention to that as it gathers my digital traces automatically. And IF I do have time to pay attention I can enter a hand written message.
    With Twitter it always has to be given attention to use. And therefore for me useless as presence tool.

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