September 4, 2009

One of About Five Thoughts on Twitter

I don’t tweet. Maybe I should. I was thinking about that this week, then John Humprys stepped both feet first into “Twitter Gate”, and the co-incidence was serendipitous. I have about five small thoughts on Twitter. Here’s one of them.

I was there for the ‘blog revolution’. I had a Blogger hoodie; I gave Blogger $50 for Blogger Pro – and wrote them complaints when the service collapsed on a daily basis (“I’ve paid actual money for this, dammit, give me blog-foo Evan”).

What did I do in the revolution? Capture some tanks? Storm the Bastille? Well I wrote some ‘proper’ blog posts: personal, insightful pieces of 300 or 500 words, with links and references and witty asides, probably read by an audience of none, not even my mum on dialup. Then I dropped in lots of link-blogging and – joining a general outpouring of tedious blogger guilt – I felt guilty about it, because in the prevailing wisdom of the time (the long-ago era of, my gosh, 2003) simply posting a URL with a one line comment wasn’t “proper blogging” in the world of the blogistas. It was lazy. It was impersonal and uncreative. It simply wouldn’t get you enough followers. Your Technorati ranking might suffer. You weren’t playing by the rules. You were a nasty sneaky dirty link-blogger who would undermine the revolution, and you probably used Windows, and Photo Bucket not Flickr, and IT WAS ALL GOING TO BE YOUR FAULT WHEN BIG MEDIA WON.

And then (hello Twitter) link-blogging is acceptable again. And it turns out that we’ve always been at war with Eastasia. So goodbye guilt, hello sunshine. I don’t tweet. Maybe I should.