Blogs are for Dialogue; Twitter is for Snippets

Blogging now, party of one
If you had come to me a month ago and asked about my blogging experience, I would have sheepishly admitted to merely reading blogs and been quick to point out that I did not comment on them, despite an often overwhelming temptation to do so.
Fast forward a month and I’m blogging for the #PRBC and for Co-Communications (http://cocommunications.wordpress.com/).  So why the drastic change?
Some conversations cannot be restricted to 140 characters.  While one could conceivably labor over dissecting their message into multiple 140 character tweets, it isn’t the same as a carefully drafted, thorough response.  Blogging affords the opportunity to leverage media placements, visuals, multimedia and commentary in a cohesive message that is carefully packaged to best illustrate a point.
In part, this is why the #PRBC is blogging—because all of our perspectives, experiences and tips can’t be crammed into 140 characters . . . and because we know that some topics warrant an in-depth conversation.
Some points needn’t be explained . . . and so we call them tweets!
While it only takes seconds to craft a tweet, it can’t always carry an entire message.  So we stick to the messages that can be effectively delivered in 140 characters.  Examples of such include links to interesting articles with a couple of words stating your opinion on same, reactions to an event or experience, small talk, tips, and witty banter.
It doesn’t take a blog post, or blog comment, to communicate the basics or point others in the direction of valuable content.  And in many instances, we just want to encourage others to look at something—form their own opinions—and pass the content along.  All of which are effectively and succinctly communicated through tweets and retweets.
Point . . . Counterpoint
While Brown’s examples of #journchat (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23journchat) and #blogchat (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23blogchat) (and to which I will add the recent #prstudchat (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23prstudchat)) have effectively sustained dialogues on Twitter, I firmly believe it’s the nature of the content that allows these forums to succeed on such a concise medium.  With #journchat and #blogchat, it’s the strength of a question and answer format that allows them to thrive in a 140 character format.  For #prstudchat, it’s the question and answer format coupled with the fact that most answers come in the form of tips.
Inversely, were #prstudchat to pose questions which asked for both tips/advice and illustrations of the importance of each, it would be better suited to a blog dialogue, where messages could be conveyed in comprehensive responses, not bound by a 140 character limit.
Speaking of points . . . .
So after all of those examples and comments, I must have a point, right?  (At least we hope I do!)
Blog comments and tweets aren’t competitors.  They are merely different models for delivering a message, each of which has its own merits.  So what’s your next step?  Comment on this post if you want to have a dialogue with me, or start what could become an in-depth debate.  If you just want to say you read it or share a tip with your tweeps, package it inside a tweet.

After reading Danny Brown’s recent post ‘Is Twitter Killing Blog Comments’ I couldn’t resist answering the last question he posed – ‘What’s your take?’

While I could go on for paragraphs rallying in support of Twitter and defending its merits as my social media platform of choice, I’ll spare you the cheering and keep it simple: Blogs are for dialogues.  Twitter is for snippets!

Blogging now, party of one

If you had come to me a month ago and asked about my blogging experience, I would have sheepishly admitted to merely reading blogs and been quick to point out that I did not comment on them, despite an often overwhelming temptation to do so.

Fast forward a month and I’m blogging for the #PRBC and for Co-Communications.  So why the drastic change?

Some conversations cannot be restricted to 140 characters.  While one could conceivably labor over dissecting their message into multiple 140 character tweets, it isn’t the same as a carefully drafted, thorough response.  Blogging affords the opportunity to leverage media placements, visuals, multimedia and commentary in a cohesive message that is carefully packaged to best illustrate a point.

In part, this is why the #PRBC is blogging—because all of our perspectives, experiences and tips can’t be crammed into 140 characters . . . and because we know that some topics warrant an in-depth conversation.

Some points needn’t be explained . . . and so we call them tweets!

While it only takes seconds to craft a tweet, it can’t always carry an entire message.  So we stick to the messages that can be effectively delivered in 140 characters.  Examples of such include links to interesting articles with a couple of words stating your opinion on same, reactions to an event or experience, small talk, tips, and witty banter.

It doesn’t take a blog post, or blog comment, to communicate the basics or point others in the direction of valuable content.  And in many instances, we just want to encourage others to look at something—form their own opinions—and pass the content along.  All of which are effectively and succinctly communicated through tweets and retweets.

Point . . . Counterpoint

While Brown’s examples of #journchat and #blogchat (and to which I will add the recent #prstudchat) which have effectively sustained dialogues on Twitter, I firmly believe it’s the nature of the content that allows these forums to succeed on such a concise medium.  With #journchat and #blogchat, it’s the strength of a question and answer format that allows them to thrive in a 140 character format.  For #prstudchat, it’s the question and answer format coupled with the fact that most answers come in the form of tips.

Inversely, were #prstudchat to pose questions which asked for both tips/advice and illustrations of the importance of each, it would be better suited to a blog dialogue, where messages could be conveyed in comprehensive responses, not bound by a 140 character limit.

Speaking of points . . . .

So after all of those examples and comments, I must have a point, right?  (At least we hope I do!)

Blog comments and tweets aren’t competitors.  They are merely different models for delivering a message, each of which has its own merits.  So what’s your next step?  Comment on this post if you want to have a dialogue with me, or start what could become an in-depth debate.  If you just want to say you read it or share a tip with your tweeps, package it inside a tweet.

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  • TJ

    This reminds me of when @stephenfry began twittering way back when (maybe last year?), which is why I got a Twitter account to begin with. He was so used to long-form writing that his tweets inevitably trailed off into … territory. Now he's a master twitterer, of course, and lately he's been microblogging when his thoughts get too long for a tweet.

    This is the first in a long line of times where I will use Stephen Fry as an example of all things awesome. I apologize in advance.

  • I think you have it down to perfection, Danielle. They aren't competitors; they are two very different approaches.

    Where my post was mainly coming from was having the conversations on Twitter (and other platforms) around the post, as opposed to through the post.

    While this is great, and it's still opening up the conversation, it's fracturing it. So, Reader A who just reads the blog misses some salient point from Reader B on Twitter, or Reader C discusses on LinkedIn and neither Reader A or B benefit from that comment and any great points it makes.

    If we could find an aggregator system (similar to DISQUS) that brought in all meaningful discussions around a post (and not simply a RT or Digg submission), I think we could really go places in blog commenting.

    Cheers!

  • Great post, Danielle. I agree that tweets are sort of like a highlight reel – for the full story, you often need a blog post (or a comment thereto…) to flush it out. Not to change the subject, but just to exapand the concept's applicability – I feel the same way about a company website. As my friend @photobiz said at a recent presentation, a company website is sort of like a snapshot brochure – where the blog that accompanies it really brings out the company's (or its proprietor's) personality and point of view. Oftentimes the message in a tweet gets lost because it's so short – and if you're trying to express something complex (and all of us are high-level complex thinkers… 😉 ), a flushed out blog post is usually the way to go. Looking forward to continuing this conversation.

  • I work with a genius and therefore have a severe inferiority complex…

    Kidding. Great stuff, D!

  • I work with a genius and therefore have a severe inferiority complex…

    Kidding. Great stuff, D!

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