Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Twitter Mentality: Is Shorter Better?

I'm still posting on Twitter, and you're welcome to follow me there. I've also arranged for my "tweets" to be posted on my Facebook page, so I get two for the price of one. Every time I think I'm ready to quit this social networking stuff, I hook up with someone I'd never have found otherwise. And a number of you folks who tweet are also visiting this blog, which I appreciate.

Colleague and cyber-friend, author Dr. Michael Palmer, poses an interesting question in a tweet today. I'm extrapolating from his brief tweet, but in essence he asks, "Should you tweet only when there's something important to say, or should you post regularly?" I must confess, I lean toward the former approach. How about you folks out there, fellow Twitterers? What do you prefer?

Twitter has taught me one thing, though. I've learned to choose my words carefully. Posts are limited to 140 characters. Not words, but characters. That means you have to think about what you're saying, edit your tweets down. Some people (I won't mention names, but you know who you are) get around this by posting four or five sequential tweets in order to get all their information out. I consider that cheating. Those longer messages belong on a Facebook page or a blog. To me, Twitter is what you'd say to a friend as you pass in the hall--a few choice words to catch them up on things you think they might want to know.

So being on Twitter might actually help me write fiction that is sparse, free of unnecessary words and phrases. And if it does, that benefit alone will keep me tweeting.

4 comments:

Timothy Fish said...

I have some friends who will stand in the hall and talk for two hours. I don’t think that is going to fit in a Tweet.

I find myself caring less and less about Twitter. I’m just not all that interested in what celebrities had for breakfast and I don’t think anyone cares what I eat either. I’ve been posting less and less as well.

Myra Johnson said...

The Twitter phenomenon still has me scratching my head, even though I do Tweet several times a week. Note I said WEEK, not DAY. Why bore others with myriad mundane details of my life? I do get frustrated seeing the same Tweeter pop up 5 or 6 times in a row. I mean, really.

Elaine said...

I'm too technologically challenged, I guess. I blog, and I have a Facebook account but I can't really get into it, and I've not even started Twittering. I agree with Timothy. I doubt anyone is interested in the mundane details of my life. Maybe I'll get into this at a later stage but for now, I'm going to stick with my blog.

Myra Johnson said...

The Twitter phenomenon still has me scratching my head, even though I do Tweet several times a week. Note I said WEEK, not DAY. Why bore others with myriad mundane details of my life? I do get frustrated seeing the same Tweeter pop up 5 or 6 times in a row. I mean, really.