Say It Isn’t So

Posted by on January 6, 2009

Last night, as I was searching in vain for a Twitter app for Facebook that actually works worth a crap (because NONE of them do) I came across someone gushing about Twitter and how it has rendered blogs all stone-agey and shit and how we don’t need them anymore because Twitter gives us, apparently, the ability to both express ourselves AND learn to be masters of brevity who don’t ramble or compose those self indulgent run-on sentences that people are so prone to in blogging. Ahem.

I didn’t think about it much at the time other than to figuratively throw my head back and laugh at the foolishness but this morning, as I was waking up ‘ye olde electronic box to which I am sadly addicted’, I was struck with fear…

What if that person was right? Are blogs now obsolete? When I consider how much time some people spend on Twitter (not me, of course) and what a huge steaming pile of entertaining timesuck it is, it does make this idea of writing actual paragraphs seem, I don’t know…a little quaint.

Oh, oh—and what about all the times you were going to blog about something but you went ahead and blew your fodder wad on Twitter instead? I’m NOT the only one who’s done that, right?

Yeah, you save up all these “very important thoughts” in that section of your brain reserved for potential blog compositions and then whamm-o! You’re suddenly struck with some nasty Twitterrhea of the keyboard and before you know it, you’ve totally liquidated your assets, opting for quick links and throwaway quips in 140 characters or less.

But then when  it’s over? You feel like you just rolled in from a one-night stand, reeking of regret for having chosen the cheap thrills and immediate gratification of Twitter and wishing you’d saved it for your faithful old blog that you’re not quite ready to quit yet. *sigh*

Discuss.


42 Comments

  • I wrote about this a while ago. I think each has it’s place and each is still totally valid. Twitter is excellent for quick, random thoughts, instant communication, group think. Blogs are good for stretching the writing muscle, really exploring a subject, building a community, etc.

  • Miss Britt says:

    Before Twitter, I would have some random, slightly funny thought that was an idea – a kernel I would then spend the mental energy to flesh out and fully develop into a full fledged post.

    Now? I send a quick text and it’s gone. Over and done with in about 5 seconds.

    Twitter is to Blogging what Marriage is to Dating.

  • Dory says:

    Just followed you over from Britt on Twitter… so glad I did!

    “blew your fodder wad on Twitter instead”… BWAHahahaha! You rock, woman!

  • Jennifer says:

    I don’t tweet (yet), but I do the status update thing on facebook a few times a day. I admit that I like keeping up with my friends through their little daily activities especially since we move around a lot (military) and I miss our daily interaction.

    But is it a symptom of our increasingly shorter attention spans? As Miss Brit said, it takes energy and thought to take an idea and flesh it out into a post. (Not that I consider myself anywhere near the writer that you all are. Or a writer at all for that matter.)

    Also, I love posting photos on my blog. Can’t do that on Twitter. Or can you?

  • Good god I must me the absolute most ancient person in this conversation. Hadn’t heard of GG until yesterday and only learned what Twitter was less than a year ago. In case you youngsters don’t yet know it yet, the great divide today is not race or religion, but age. And most of us old farts don’t even know what in the hell you people are talking about.

    So, I suppose my answer will bear the unmistakable sign of senility, but Twitter is just TMI to me. Maybe I think that because too many folks Twitter poorly. Perhaps Miss Brit has it down, but I see a lot of stupid shit out there. (Who really cares you’re at the grocery store and the fat man in the produce aisle is annoying you by squeezing the tomatoes?)

    Me? I’ll take a fully fleshed-out, coherent, meaningful post any day over random blather. Just call me Miss Daisy.

  • Mirinda says:

    I just don’t get Twitter. Who has the TIME for this? I keep up to date on my Facebook because it’s reunited me with old friends and is an easy way to touch base with long-distance relatives. Do they all need to know what I’m doing/thinking at brief moments throughout the day? No. Reading blogs to me is more like reading a good (you hope) short story. Twitter is crap if you ask me. :)

  • Vic says:

    Twitter is great for quick conversation and killing time. The whole blogging thing, reading and posting, is much more time consuming, but also gets you deeper into the lives of other bloggers. I hope there’ll always be a place for both.

  • verybadcat says:

    I had to ponder on Twitter for a long time before I surrendered. I’ll agree with the whole dating/marriage analogy, but perhaps foreplay/sex is more accurate?

    I like the give and take, the real, live conversation. Like when someone asks how to get gum off of her favorite jeans and she gets 20 responses. You can do that on a blog, but it’s not the same.

  • Sarah says:

    Twitter does not accomplish as much as Facebook and blogging does for me. Facebook connects me with my real life friends and they make me feel loved. I don’t feel a lot of love on Twitter, unless I beg. I hate begging; gives me a complex. Blogging allows me to journal and have a little space on the web all my own.

    Twitter does carry a lot of little details about folk’s lives. Which is not so interesting to me uniess I know the person well. On Facebook, I love the silly details people give, because they are usually people I see on regular basis.

    Keep on blogging and running on your sentences.

  • Brooke says:

    Twitter blows. But, coming from me (the oldest 26 year old to ever live), who makes faces and mumbles profanity at those who text others in the middle of a conversation with me because dear god I just DON’T GET IT! JUST CALL THEM ALREADY!… that really probably just doesn’t mean much.

    Blogging is much more personal, more detailed.. and you can tell so much about how a person thinks by the way they string together their sentences, run-on or not.

    Again, oldest 26 year old that ever lived.

  • Brooke, you’re a kindred spirit. I’m the oldest 46 year old that ever lived!

  • Chris says:

    If you have the attention span of a meth addict, then Twitter is your blog substitute.

  • Tracy says:

    And where does Facebook fit into this equation? For me, facebook has taken precedence over blogging. And Twitter? I don’t get it, but I’m taking a stab at it.

    So what’s better – facebook or twitter?

  • Amanda says:

    I’d rather read blogs than tweets but I’d rather tweet than blog. Maybe it’s because I think I’m better at 140 characters or will screw up less in 140 characters. I don’t know.

  • Gina Chen says:

    I think there’s room for both twitter and blogs. I think they serve different functions, although love your comparison of twitter to one-night-stand.

    I tend to twitter links to my blog or other blogs or news stories I find interested. Sometimes, I twitter what I’m doing.

    I love reading blogs. Would go nuts reading just twitter.

  • Tracy says:

    I love Twitter for its MST3K qualities (watching the debates was so much fun in the fall), and for its instant responses. And for its ability to spark ideas for deeper blog posts.

    I don’t think it will render any blogs obsolete, though, other than the ones where no one posts more than a line or two at a time anyway.

  • I blow my wad way more than I should. I agree with Miss Britt. Apparently I’m a serial dater in a committed relationship.

  • SciFi Dad says:

    Since I do not use twitter, I cannot see Britt’s analogy. I’d love it if someone could explain it better.

    The problem with twitter, at least for me, is the real-time nature of it. I feel like if I am going to tweet, I need to set aside a period of time every day where I am online and interacting with others. Contrast that to blogging, where I compose my thoughts, release them into the ether, and sit back and see what others think.

  • Velma says:

    I feel like Twitter is a break room (or cocktail party, since I mostly tweet at night with a glass of wine by my laptop) I can drop into whenever I have time and connect with people. Blogging takes more effort… or not, if you are like me and only posting once a week lately, but it also the place to stretch out and ponder. So yes, the dating vs. marriage analogy works for me.

  • Cara says:

    I’m on Twitter, but I’ve never really gotten into it. Too much to keep track of. I much prefer the well thought out post.

  • Twitter is like being at a cocktail party with too many people, all of them talking at once and most of them not paying attention to what you’re saying. I do it, but I get frustrated by it very quickly (sort of like loud cocktail parties). And the re-tweets drive me batty. But I am a curmudgeon who would be better suited to living in a book-lined cave than out in the world with real people.

    Blogging is solitary and I really like solitary. People respond (sometimes) and I can answer or not as the mood strikes me.

  • You know I’m a Twitter Junkie and I always feel a little guilty that i’m on there chatting with a bunch of people and some of them obviously expect me to understand a reference to something they wrote on their blog and i’ve never even bothered to go to it because they’re tweets are so boring….I AM THAT bitch.

    I suppose that makes me a twitter fail, huh?

  • Suebob says:

    mmm…I think they complement each other. Not everything deserves a blog post, and twitter forces me to try and pack the maximum meaning into the fewest characters.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I use Twitter as a way to, well, yell for help when I need it, or announce something going on like a big giveaway I’m doing. I can’t count how many times I’ve been stuck on a design problem and asked on Twitter and had three or four replies within an hour. I like the idea of a place for people to pool their collective knowledge, like a community center for bloggers.

    p.s. according to bloglines I just became your first feed subscriber :)

  • My ex-boyfriend’s blog is now just his twitter feed. To me, that’s lame.

    Or maybe it’s just because I’m way too long winded to say what I need to in less than 140 characters.

    I suppose it depends on what the purpose of your blog is.

  • Twitter killing the blog? Um, that’s like masturbation killing the need for sex. It may be nice in a pinch but when all is said and done, there’s nothing like a slow and steady dance.

  • ali says:

    sometimes i’m all, “ooh, i really want to put this on twitter” (can’t bring myself to use the word tweet because i am mentally disturbed) but then stop myself because it’s too good for twitter. i want to save it for my blog.

    in short, i am a total loser.

    :)

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    Twitter makes me feel like I’m at a party where everyone already knows each other. And while they were nice enough to invite (follow) me, I’m still hanging out at the half-eaten buffet prondering what to say without looking like a dork.

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    Twitter makes me feel like I’m at a party where everyone already knows each other. And while they were nice enough to invite (follow) me, I’m still hanging out at the half-eaten buffet prondering what to say without looking like a dork.

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    Twitter makes me feel like I’m at a party where everyone already knows each other. And while they were nice enough to invite (follow) me, I’m still hanging out at the half-eaten buffet prondering what to say without looking like a dork.

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    Twitter makes me feel like I’m at a party where everyone already knows each other. And while they were nice enough to invite (follow) me, I’m still hanging out at the half-eaten buffet prondering what to say without looking like a dork.

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    Um that would be pondering. I don’t know what prondering is, but if I did it at a party, they would probably ask me to leave.

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    Um that would be pondering. I don’t know what prondering is, but if I did it at a party, they would probably ask me to leave.

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    Um that would be pondering. I don’t know what prondering is, but if I did it at a party, they would probably ask me to leave.

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    Um that would be pondering. I don’t know what prondering is, but if I did it at a party, they would probably ask me to leave.

  • kittenpie says:

    I think it’s a different medium. For the quick quip or update, Twitter is great, but to really make a point or crystallize a memory or hash something out, you need the length of a blog. I don’t think thye are going anywhere, though posting may go down somewhat. (Mind you, mine’s down anyhow thanks to my arms being tied up with baby all the time now, so there you go.)

  • leah says:

    i agree with most everything you’ve noted, the twitter versus blogging dilemma. twitter *has* helped me shorten myself up a bit, this is a good ting b/c my god i can go on and on and on…

    i am forced to say it within 140 characters with minimal double/triple tweeting, and i edit myself more now. i believe that’s a good thing.

  • The Caffeinatrix says:

    Britt, it’s now totally clear to me what makes you so awesomelicious, aside from your fabulous hair and pre-surgical MegRyan-like good looks. You’re also frakking brilliant and so, so right. Excellent analogy!

  • The Caffeinatrix says:

    If that makes you a loser, then I’m one, as well, because I have that same thought process fairly often!

  • The Caffeinatrix says:

    Oh no, I can’t relate to that at all *shakes head to appear more convincing*

  • InfernalMemo says:

    @Apryl’s Antics: Oh Jeez. I’ve had more belly laughs just from reading this string of comments than I’ve had in weeks. Months, even. I am so pleased to have stumbled on caffeinatrix (from Guy Kawasaki’s blog).

    Will keep reading! (Might try prondering, too. It sounds like it might get me up off my chair once in a while.)

    InfernalMemo’s last blog post..Cool things about being a writer

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