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.