Blogs vs Twitter

I have resisted joining the blogosphere, much as I have resisted Social Media overall. I’m just not a very social guy.

Before I got on Twitter I noticed different websites and tools waxing and waning in favor with the tehnorati.  On 20Oct08, Paul Boutin wrote in Wired Magazine (“Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Looks So 2004“):

“Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug.”

As I am by nature a contrarian, I have proceeded to do the opposite.  Boutin points out that opinion leaders such as Jason Calacanis have abandoned blogs in favor of social media tools such as Twitter, YouTube, etc.  His point is the pros have taken over the blogspace and it’s almost impossible to cut through the clutter.

“The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.”

I worked at student newspapers in college (official and alternative), had a column in a weekly local newspaper for awhile, and regularly spout out in letters to the editor.  I also started doing record reviews while a volunteer DJ for KRFC-FM community radio in Ft. Collins, CO, and have tried to keep that up on since.  I agree, it takes time to do it right.

RSS Icon

RSS guru Dave Winer is playing with different ways to integrate social media tools.  On 1Jan09, he posted his thoughts on a debate between fans of blogging and tweeting.–Michael Arrington’s 22.12.08 post “I’m sorry Robert But It’s Time For A Friendfeed Intervention.”  Arrington & Calacanis think Robert Scoble is harming his brand by neglecting his blog in favor of Twitter/Friendfeed.   Scoble replies that… well as of 12:00 CST Fri 9Jan09 he didn’t have a reply on his blog yet, but his link led me to check out Friendfeed for the first time….

I saw another observation on this debate, but IE crashed and haven’t found it again. Basically, Scoble is a news junkie–he lives to break the next big thing.  Arrington & kin are analysts–they live to understand the next big thing.

Anyway, I don’t know (or care) enough about the personalities involved to make a relevant comment on their personal choices.  I do like Winer’s conclusion that these divergent opinions are two parts of the same thing.  He notes:

“Technology is a process, an evolution — don’t focus on what’s here right now today, because a year from now it’ll be different. Look at the trend.”

Outside this conversation I’ve seen many others wring their hands over using tools such as Twitter effectively. For example, there’s a PR guy on Twitter with Colorado Farm Bureau.  Remarking on a Columbia Journalism teleconference 9Jan09:

@agripundit From *Twitter 4 Journalists* webcast: Its not about who follows you,its about who you follow. Very true. #columbiaj

I’ve seen such advice elsewhere (e.g. @jamesdickey‘s 10 Commandments of Twitter), but it didn’t really sink in until now.  It is about Purpose:

  • Twitter’s primary value for me is the data input. It’s a quantity thing. It’s like watching The Matrix in code.
  • Facebook & blogs have more value as information output.  It’s a quality thing. Where I can hash over ideas, think about it and let things perc for a bit.

We are asking not a yes/no question, but a yes and no question.  Be clear about your purpose for the tool.

That doesn’t help figure out how to get a cool clear drink of water out of the firehose that is Twitter. For now, it does give me a better idea what flavor beverage I’m looking for.

JC on Twitter
John on Twitter

Email? How quaint…


Update: @SteveThornton says this better than I can pro & con on TwiTip,
  Twitter versus Facebook: Should you Choose One? 
 (saved me a post!)

Update2: On the other hand, plenty of folks do believe… Personal blogging is dead.