Useless Distinctions: Twitter as Microblogging

Steven Hodson has a post up on Mashable! where he whines that “Twitter is not microblogging”. Before I get into my own thoughts on the topic, I have an initial question:

Who the Hell Cares?

Steven’s apparently pissed that hardworking OBs (Original Bloggers) aren’t getting the respect that they used to, what with the upstarts like Twitter and Tumblr and Plurk infringing on the blogging turf.

I just have one thing to say: for shit’s sake. Get off your high horse already.

Now, as to the question of where Twitter fits in the new evolution of blogging: Twitter and its lifestreaming brethren are definitely blogging tools, if you are smart enough to see blogging in context, and not just as a collection of tools and techniques.  What are the key features of blogging in the historical sense?  Let me take a stab:

  • Public
  • Personal
  • Direct
  • Timely
  • Subjective
  • Worldwide

You tell me how Twitter doesn’t meet those criteria.

Somebody commented on Hodson’s article that his post must have been linkbait.  I doubt it – I just think he’s stuck in a mental trap and can’t – for the moment anyway – dig himself out of his current worldview.  The fact that he came in behind several dozen commenters and tried to turn this into a juvenile “Yay if you’re with me, Boo if you’re against me” doesn’t speak well for his near-term enlightenment.

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2 Responses to “Useless Distinctions: Twitter as Microblogging”


  1. 1 Steven Hodson July 19, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Respect has nothing to do with if you area blogger, Twitter’er, Plurker or FriendFeeder. Respect is eaned over time and by a person’s body of work. I already can say I have a growing repespect for you after spending the last bit of time going through you blog posts – as well as picking up a new sci-fi writer to read.

    and you are correct in that the post wasn’t meant as linkbait just as I attempted to point out to commenters on both Mashable and FriendFeed that I wasn’t suggesting that Twitter has no value. In fact I have written in the past about it being the very opposite – that is if anyone took the time to read the supportive links I had posted – Twitter does indeed have what could turn out to be a very important position in our means of online communications. I just don’t see it as being a microblogging tool.

    It sure seems though that if one goes against the popular belief that they are accused of being everything from an idiot to a snob to sitting on a high horse. If this was the case I wouldn’t have taken pretty well my complete day and answered pretty well every comment made about my post. Neither have I insulted anyone elses thoughts on what Twitter is to them as everyone is entitled to their opinions.

    Mind you I am having a hard time understanding why defending my point of view can be construed as a “Boo if you are against me” attitude as I believe I was fair on both sides of the conversation. If not then I apologize because no discussions can move forward when all we do is belittle others. In the 60 some comments that I replied to on Mashable I may have been sarcastic at times but usually when replying to one liner comments that did nothing to advance the conversation in any fashion other than to try an make me look like a fool.

    If that was being done to you Anthony how would you react?

    BTW consider your RSS subscriber rate going up by one more this evening.

  2. 2 Anthony Stevens July 19, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    I admit I wouldn’t react half as well as you have. One problem I don’t have yet is lots of flames. My hat’s off to you for your professional response.


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