Exactly seven months ago today, I wrote a little blog post announcing to the world that I was committing to Twitter. And commit I did. I’ve since linked it with my Facebook account, so all my Twitter posts are simultaneously fed to my much larger Facebook audience. I’ve also started using it with my dumb-phone, as text messages to Twitter are an easy way to post to Facebook when I don’t have an internet connection.
However, when I wrote that original post, I thought Twitter was “less like blogging and more like an instant messaging tool, except you’re broadcasting your messages to everyone.” I’ve since learned that I had it completely backwards.*
Except with a couple of people, I never got around to using Twitter “@” replies or Direct Messages as a viable means of communication. I have all those guys’ cell phone numbers, and they’re much more likely to keep up with their texts than the Twitter DM’s pushed to their iPhones. The vast majority of Twitter accounts of friends that I follow are also linked to their Facebook profiles, and several of my friends who often post great links post exclusively to Facebook. And most of my favorite Twitter accounts are those run by bloggers, news outlets, public figures, and organizations, not people I know personally.
So, my Twitter use ended up being about 2% direct communication with friends, and 98%… blogging. That goes for my Twitter output, as well. Most of my Tweets are designed for mass consumption, providing interesting links or photos, random facts and one-line thoughts and experiences I want to share with people. You know, just much more succinct versions of the exact kind of things one might write in, oh, say, a blog.
Somewhere around the peak of my Twitter use a couple months ago (I tend to post a lot while I travel, and I’ve done a lot of that), I fell victim to one of those horrible trends that are a sign the internet is destroying the universe, etc: I started to encapsulate all my important thoughts into 140-character tidbits. If I couldn’t trim it down enough, it wasn’t worth posting; it would be too long to read for my News Feed-skimming audience. My focus on producing comment-generating Facebook posts (via Twitter, of course) reduced the number of more expansive thoughts and opinions I wanted to write down to about nothing.
In short, Twitter killed my blog.
However, in the spirit of my totally bitchin’ Zombie Song Girl Halloween costume (now, see, wouldn’t that ridiculous process and adventure have made for a great blog post instead of a series of one-liners on Facebook?), I will attempt to make my blog rise from the dead. I will challenge myself to expound on those bite-sized flashes of insight I normally post to Twitter, and see if I can’t generate as much interest in a few paragraphs of writing as I do for 140 characters on Facebook every day. And I’m totally gonna shamelessly self-promote my blog posts over Twitter more often.
*I realized after writing this that I’ve pretty much recited this blog post as a topic of conversation at parties at least twice this year.