Blogging vs micro-blogging 09:12 on Thursday

Ville Vesterinen writes about why a lot of people, him included, seem to be migrating from blogging to “micro-blogging” — using Jaiku, Twitter, etc. I’m using quotes there intentionally, for I tend to agree with Steven Hodson’s take on Mashable:

It amazes me how anyone in all seriousness can even consider the inane twaddle that permeates the Internet from services like Twitter as even coming close to blogging or micro-blogging.

Ville writes on an opposing and more enthusiastic tone. I guess the points he makes are good, how else would these micro-services be so popular. But his points are also a complete reversal of my opinions on blogging and “micro-blogging”:

  • He likes the lower threshold for letting the world know what’s up. I would prefer people to think more about what they’re saying. Why do we want to fill the world with inane twaddle?
  • Micro-blogging satisfies his urge to express himself with minimal effort. But what about the effort of the receiver? Why do we want to spend our friends’ time on inane twaddle? If you send me a message, you’re spending my time in addition to yours. If you waste my limited time with nonsense, are you respecting my time? Are you respecting me?
  • Ville likes that these conversations can occur in close to real-time. I hate that. I have better things to do than follow twaddle in real-time! The stream of postings is a sure way to kill my flow. And for a creative person (which we all are) there’s nothing more valuable than flow.

It is interesting how differently these services and their usefulness can be seen, and I am sure there will continue to be an audience for both thoughtful blogging and the bite-sized stream of consciousness that is “micro-blogging”.

4 Responses to “Blogging vs micro-blogging”

    Links from my other posts:

  1. Why tweet — /personal

  3. Ville Vesterinen Says:

    I very much like what you wrote as I think the issue is not insignificant at any measure and is an indication of the direction we’re heading. Well, at least that’s what I believe and as you concluded, not everybody might be as enthusiastic about the road outlined as I might seem to be. But even I have my doubts: I very much agree with Jan Chipchase timely post (here >> http://www.janchipchase.com/shared-location-awareness) and Adam Greenfield’s book Everyware that touch the topic even if from different altitudes and ankles.

    To comment some of your observations, firstly “Why do we want to fill the world with inane twaddle?”. I regard this ‘inane twaddle’ as the same chatter and small observations of every day life that I enjoy when I’m working or when I’m out and about with my friends chatting over a cup of coffee or beer. With tools such as Jaiku and Twitter I have the ability to have these conversation with a larger group of people I care about and whose opinions I value. Equally important is the fact that I can jump out of these conversations just by deciding not to enter the web site where the conversations take place, whereas it is much harder to ignore a phone call or an email.

    This leads me to your second point: Again, I do have the freedom not to look at the medium. Since it does not ring in my pocket and more importantly it is not expected that I see the message instantaneously or answer it within a set time frame. This gives me the freedom to concentrate on whatever I have set to do and not engage any conversation as long as I so choose. But if I choose to do so, I can have these close to real time conversation with several people while at the same time giving them the option of not being expected to answer me before their choosing.

    It is true that it makes it harder to have those real time conversation when I don’t know if the other party is going to answer right away, later on or ever. But as long as I know my social circle and people I interact with, I start to learn the way they use the medium and adjust my expectations accordingly with each individual.

    What comes to respecting my time, I believe email is the most irresponsible tool that exists today. The ease of sending an email to thousand of people and thus expecting them to answer compared to the time I spend deleting those hundreds (if not thousands) of CCd emails (not to talk about answering them) is in my opinion close to criminal. What makes this tool very different from say Twitter or Jaiku is the fact that it is nowadays our primary way of conducting business and therefore we have shaped the culture of using it to such that an instant answer can be expected. Instant in this case means that we need to be aware of everything that’s in our inbox and answer it with the urgency that the issue requires.

    What comes to killing one’s flow, I do agree with you. Having said that I believe that the expectations that we have build into the emailing culture are much more deadly for the flow than the current use of Jaiku or Twitter.

    I believe these are all points that you fully well understand, whereas I fully understand and agree with you on the points you made on your part. I believe it all comes down to the way we choose to use these tools and what we choose to let people to expect from us when dealing with these tools. But it is much easier to create a new culture for new tools than change an existing one for an old tool. I further believe that we are at the crossroads regarding the way we will expect ‘everybody’ to use these new services that are emerging and emerge they will. Thus it is that much more important that these very conversations take place.

  4. Sami Salmenkivi Says:

    Niko, when people get older they tend get stuck on things. ;)

  5. Niko Says:

    Sami, I’ll help kick your ass after a few years to get you out of the rut. :P

    Ville, here’s more on the topic.