Blogs and the Twitter Effect

While chatting with Scott at ETUG, he commented that he was frustrated with Twitter. Both because of the constant flakiness, and the negative effect it's having on many people's blog posting activity. I'm definitely posting less frequently since getting bitten by the Twitter bug.

At first, I didn't see the problem, but then he explained it. If people are pumping their content and energy into Twitter, something that is by nature largely ephemeral and transient (both in server uptime and lifespan of content) then the blogosphere is effectively losing out. Yes, there are benefits - the conversations and serendipitous connections that happen via the always-on and always-shifting nature of Twitter streams are compelling because they are some of the most highly social public interactions on the internets. And that has helped me feel more closely connected with the 40-odd people in the strange, distributed, cosmopolitan set of folks I consider friends.

During ETUG, we tried to shift to Jaiku. The UI of Jaiku sucks, compared with Twitter. It's too busy. It's got ads. But it stays up and never eats content. And it's got almost nobody on the network. The people are on Twitter. I gave up on tilting at that windmill in less than a day. It's not worth fighting with cranky software, but it's also not worth abandoning the community in the relentless pursuit of uptime...

Where Jaiku was like a cold, lonely walk, Twitter's like a family gathering (with all that entails).

Cold walk on campus vs. DSCF1928.JPG

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