How Twitter is invigorating my blogging

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As I’ve written elsewhere here, I’ve spent a good bit of time microblogging – diversifying the way I engage in online conversation. Whereas once I would have written a blog message or two a day, I now find I am more likely to twitter and then take far more ideas from the Twitter stream into face to face video, audio chat or a lengthier blogpost here or on my other blog Groundling. In a way, Twitter has invigorated my thinking, and opened up the potential for a more diversified conversation to a much greater audience than before. If blogging is about the conversation, then the conversation is getting richer, and so too are the contacts.

I’ve been on board the Twitter bandwagon since May 2007, but the flood into the stream in the past 3-6 months has been huge. The screen grab (above) shows in cloud form the most common words and the names of some of my contacts or ‘tweeps’ … I know, I know … but somehow this silly neologistic game of appending ‘tw-‘ is all part of the fun. Am I chatting more and enjoying it less? Heck, no! I get a dozen new followers a day, although I have no intention of following them all back … I look for interesting posts, stimulating debate, and if we had something in common, well that would be nice too. In this way, I’ve met a slew of new adventurers, exchanged some good ideas on the fly in 140 characters or less … yes it can be done … and gone on to expand those ideas in concert at Utterli where a new contact @andreweglinton has set up a group called Talking Theatre. What emerges from these threads of thoughts expressed in voice or moving image invariably finds its way to further reading and/or blog posts and more considered comment. And what fun it is to hear a variety of voices in all their dialectical richness.

It’s worth mentioning FriendFeed, another app that’s proving useful. As an aggregator of social networking applications and services, it’s a one-stop contact point where I can see my contacts’ photographs, quick comments, link to their blog posts, and even what they are reading. More importantly perhaps is that FriendFeed provides a more detailed profile of a person; you can feel you know them much better than should be possible in what is a virtual creation of ‘self.’

Invariably, you will find your way to a contact’s blog … or not as the case may be. You could stay on FriendFeed or Twitter and chat there.  But if you fancy a more considered exchange of ideas, inevitably you will hit their blog URL hotlink. Once you’re there you get to be a bit more thoughtful. The tweet is to the blog as a quick phone call is to a long, kick-your-shoes-off, sit down and talk session.

So whilst the shiny-bright, new, often frantic kid on the block is inevitably soaking up more of our online time, I can’t help but feel that, at least for me, it’s provided a pick me up, a whole new lease of life to my online communication.

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