I had an email from a good friend, whom I actually got to know through mutual open source interests, but also by simply discussing topics on my blog. He writes:
Whether you like it or not, twitter is now what blogs were 3 or 4 years ago, and you need to get involved in it, Nick.
Twitter seems like a medium that while easy and fast, is ill suited to the topics I like to blog about. Technical articles, tips, with samples and screenshots seems like it would be tough to get across on Twitter. I tried twitter – actually, ages ago but then deleted my account almost immediately because I just thought it was downright “silly” to “text the world” 150 characters at a time.
What am I missing? My friend quoted above is highly regarded, certainly by me. What am I missing? Why would I want to communicate to the world in medium without image, italics, attachments, etc? Phrasing it more positively, what is the best part about Twitter that makes it work foregoing time spent on this blog for Tweeting instead?
For one, you can tweet about your specially interesting blog entries.
Your blog -> Create the content
Twitter -> Announce it
Following all the good bloggers via RSS is quite impossible nowadays.I find myself more and more using Twitter to find news/articles/blogs about say, open source BI.
Of course people initially join Twitter because they have heard that it is what all the cool people are doing. Many get bored. But those who stay stay because they find a clique of people who share their interests. It’s actually rather marvelous: like going to a cocktail party where everyone actually wants to talk about work — or whatever you are interested in talking about — and your S/O never tugs at your elbow to suggest that we go over and chat to the Joneses. And furthermore you can wander around the cocktail party and focus on people who have similar interests.
It is of course impossible to say something of substance in 140 chars. But if you regularly provide good information/insight to the clique in the form of links to articles, humor and blog posts you have written, others who are similarly interesting/influential will follow you. It is what we all hoped we’d get out of PR before PR was hijacked by the PR industry.
Blog posts still have their place, but it is not often that I have a Significant Thought and the time to compose it into a blog post. Blog posts are like the well-thought-out discourse of the Greek philosophers at the forum; Twitter is perfect for shop talk mixed with a bit of light chit chat.
And I concur with Bence’s comments about using Twitter to help you tune into blog posts & news that are interesting.
there’s only one way to find out whether Twitter is of any value to you: create an account and start using it! It’s also great for sending quick messages or ask short questions directly: many people have a Twitter client on their phone (I’m one of them) and are easier reached using a tweet than an e-mail message or a call. So just start by following julianhyde, mattcasters, rolandbouman, lancewalter, doug_moran, claudia_imhoff, jamespentaho, mtarallo or pmalves (all Twitter names). You see? All your friends are already on Twitter and will probably warmly welcome you!
I think that statement is true; Twitter is (mostly) now what blogging was (mostly) 4 years ago. People used to blog about what they eat at breakfast, as most people now tweet about it. Currently, blogs are now a perfect place for technical articles and “bookmarkable” references.
With time, everything goes into it’s right place, and surely the same will happen to twitter. The same kind of transformation happened a few years back in irc. It’s now one of the best way to find technical information and all the chit-chat moved to other social networks
I second the point made by Bence. Use Twitter to make more connections with your community. Tweet about your blog posts with a link to your latest post. Ask questions of your followers, engage in conversation.
I have made many wonderful contacts that I don’t believe I would have met without Twitter.
Twitter conversations can be hard to follow unless you use one of the third party addons like TweetDeck. Having said that, I think it makes a nice complement to a blog. I use the Twitter widget to Typepad, which shows my last 5 “tweets” on my blog home page. It’s sometimes easier for me to update content this way, than to create lovely crafted blog posts. Also, I have more of a feeling of connectedness to other DBAs by hearing occasional tweets from them, rather than reading static blog posts. Still trying to find my way in the Twitterverse.
Bence is right. You’re real content remains on your blog. Twitter is a marketing tool that can help you extend your brand. One true benefit is that it provides a more dynamic environment for connecting to people that like what you like; follow what you follow; and are open to learning more about you through your blog. It’s all about making connections today, and this is one tool that you can’t ignore.