Monday, 17 May 2010

twitter isn't good for blogging

Blogging is another way of telling stories.

Or at least that's how I always thought of it. My stories, like I'd tell you in a letter or a phone call or a conversation. Stuff maybe you didn't even really need to read, but things you might enjoy hearing if you wanted to know how I am - how my life is - better. If you wanted to know me.

Blogging is taking big bites. Whole stories, setting a tone, giving your readers a feeling so they can peek through this door you've opened into your home and sigh in recognition. Letting them get to know you.

Twitter and Facebook, with their status statements and character limits, don't allow whole bites. They only give you a taste, a nibble of who the whole person is. How can you get a feeling for how someone writes, for how someone is in a sentence or two?  Too often twitter messages are about plebeian things like eating out and diapers and traffic jams - if I wouldn't write about these things in a blog post, why would I think you'd be interested in my tweets about them?  And why on earth would you be? Are we so starved for automatic content that we need to tell each other about our laundry?

I've grown weary of status messages and the like pointing the way to blog posts. It smacks of self-aggrandizement. The way Twitter is structured now, the people that see that tweet are friends with you already - chances are they know you have a new post out, via feedreaders and bloglines and their ilk. The number of new readers you can pick up that way is very low.

I think the most obvious way Twitter and Facebook harms blogging is by erasing the storyteller in all of us. If I report, via status message and What's Happening?  the 140 character bare-bones of my day, what's left? What do I post? Where is my story?

I belong to both Twitter and Facebook, and I'm sorry to say I've been gleaning more information about how my favorite authors - my blogging authors - are doing on those two programs versus their own blogs.

Where are the stories? Where are the peeks into your life?
Stop telling me about your laundry and whether your husband got home on time.

Tell me a story. Write a post.


mapsgirl said...

I'm finding this to be very true. Not only am I not blogging as much, I waste too much time reading everyone's tweets that I run out of my free time to write a blog post. I've got to work on that.

May-B said...

I know! I'm doing the same thing. Also, I'm guilty of doing the "leading to a post" thing because so many of my readers only use FB to check on those things. But Twitter is sucking my ability to tell a story, my ability to take something that I wrote in 140 characters and make it into something more.

Jen on the Edge said...

I am very, very, VERY guilty of posting links to my blogs on Twitter and Facebook.

The only reason I do it is that I've actually gotten a fair amount of traffic that way and it's been helpful for me to expand my readership.

And, I find that seeing other people's links at Twitter and Facebook often leads me to interesting blog posts and articles that I might not have otherwise seen.

Loth said...

Couldn't agree more, although I'll have you know my laundry is fascinating. And by fascinating, I mean a bit icky.

Suzanne said...

That, in a nutshell, is why I backed away from Twitter.

However, I like how Facebook allows me to put a little more detail out there that I normally would not share in an open forum.

In the past week, though, for the first time, my status updates ended up being the tease for the day's blog post.

Yo-yo Mama said...

Excellent post! And thank goodness I didn't link to my new post (first in a week which is a serious dry spell considering) on twitter.

I don't know how many bloggers could face the challenge of posting only to their blog for a week and no twitter or FB.

Magpie said...

I rarely dip into Twitter, but I do have my blog show up on Facebook. Mostly I do write, on my blog, because I do it for me. I'm happy having readers, but I'm happier having a story-telling outlet.

Meggie said...

I do agree! I refuse to Twitter. I barely attend Facebook.
I still love to read blog posts and see pics from my friends.