Apr 24, 2009

My Problems with Twitter

While many people claim that Twitter ate their blog, I can't really say it has eaten mine - while I have been much more quiet lately than 6 months ago, I think it more due to lack of enthusiasm/inspiration/commitment than anything else. I have several reasons why I'm not a huge fan of Twitter for "microblogging", at least compared to a lot of the other people who are on it. Don't get me wrong, it is great for small little things, but I don't think it is a great substitute for an actual blog.

Why I don't like it:
  • Lack of expressiveness - while some people could say that Twitter makes them more efficient in saying what they want to say, I think shortening your message to 140 characters really limits what you can say. A lot of the time I have stuff to say that is too short to make into a real blog entry, but I'd like to talk about in more depth than a simple tweet (perhaps I should lower my minimum blog entry length, but for some reason I don't like to write really short ones. Not sure why).
  • The Chaos - It is completely chaotic. I forget to check Twitter every day. In fact, sometimes a week goes by. What happens when I finally do remember to check is I sign on and there's absolutely no way I can see what people have said except for in the last few hours. Fortunately the good response to this was to just stop following a whole bunch of people who just spammed out tweets like there's no tomorrow, so now my timeline shows probably a day or two worth of tweets - though still no good if I haven't checked it in a week. In fact, just today I found out that several weeks ago someone sent me a "message" - not a real direct message mind you, but an @robbrit message - with a link to a cool book and I just got it today because I was messing around the Twitter Search API. If you're reading this, thanks! It is definitely interesting!
  • Level of Satisfaction - This somewhat relates to my first point, but is a bit different. I find that tweeting does not give the level of satisfaction as a good blog entry (I find it odd that I'm saying this, since I tend to tweet more than I blog these days) mainly because with a blog entry I sit down and write something that people may actually care about. While shouting out random things to my followers on Twitter may be temporarily gratifying (just got to work! sitting in my chair now!), there is a deeper feeling of satisfaction when you receive a comment on a year-old article saying how you helped someone out so much, or when someone links you on Reddit because they like what you've written - although there is an awful lot of negative attention from sites like those that really bugs me, but I suppose it is unavoidable on the Internet.
Hopefully there are others that feel the same way as I do. While I don't think that Twitter is bad, I do think that I would prefer to blog more often.

1 comment:

Owein said...

I think 'microblogging' is perhaps a misnomer. We twit for different reasons than we blog. Blogging seems quite well established, especially for many who, rather than an on-line diary, use it as an e-zine representation of themselves. Twittering is not so well established, but will eventually find its place, I'm sure. I recently heard that one possible niche, in my area (hospital interfaces), would be for patient monitors to twitter stats. I'm sure in the long run, functionality to prevent 'misses' like the one in your second point above will be perfected.