January 4, 2009

"Twitter = Terse. I like terse."

Comments Freeman Hunt on last night's post about Twitter.

Nothing prevents us bloggers from blogging tersely wherever we are already blogging. When I started blogging, I worked hard at terseness, and I still do. Nevertheless, there's a temptation to expand and elaborate. Terseness is a discipline. Some of use can achieve it without imposed constraints.

Twitter wants to make us all Instapundit.

***

I tried very hard to make this post terse, but it's way too long for Twitter.

***

Hey, follow me on Twitter.

41 comments:

Michael_H said...

What is the next step after blogging and Twittering?

Posting one's ongoing location via GPS sent from cell phone?

I stubbed my toe.

1. Call next of kin from cell phone to report stubbing.

2. Blog about the stubbing of toes in a multicultural scenario.

3. Sent a terse Twitter message to those on one's Twitter network.

4. Take cell phone photo of stubbed toe and text it via cell phone to all concerned parties.

5. Read and respond to incoming messages of sympathy and safety tips.

-OR-

1. Stub toe.

2. Exclaim "Shit!"

3. Move on with balance of day's activities.

HelenParr said...

I want a service for those who just watch. Call it 'Agog.' You're all atwitter and we're all agog.

Ann Althouse said...

"3. Move on with balance of day's activities."

Which would be blogging about the toe, photographing it, and so forth. For some of us, anyway.

Ron said...

I'll pass on twitter.

chuck b. said...

Twitter is for girls.

MayBee said...

Twitter is for the writer, not the reader.
Look what I'm doing! Twit.

raptros-v76 said...

Well, instapundit is available on twitter. Twitter is awesome; various web services (Remember the Milk, Google Calendar, etc.) have twitter integration. Various news sites put up news links on twitter. Also, there are apparently some very nice iPhone clients for twitter. (I don't have one, but one of my friends has been going on about one called TwittterFon for his iPhone).

Michael_H said...

""3. Move on with balance of day's activities."

Which would be blogging about the toe, photographing it, and so forth. For some of us, anyway."

How right you are. ;)

"Twitter is for girls."

No. I believe that service is called Twatter.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

I was just imagining Glenn Greenwald trying to fit one of his tortured sentences on Twitter. Beer came out of my nose.

Jen Bradford said...

I find twitter embarrassing or else sad - the whole idea of it seems like an exercise for someone with brain damage who needs to be reassured they are in fact still alive and "real". It makes me think of the Sacks piece where the guy has zero short term memory and keeps this horrifying notebook where he repeatedly says "Now, today I am really awake for the first time!" about a million times.

bearbee said...

..I like terse."

ditto

peter hoh said...

Terse good.
All terse, all the time? Not good.

I'd like a side order of nuance with that terse.

Meade said...

Yeah, and every now and then, a big hot bowl of elaboration.

Michael_H said...

I've given Twitter a test drive today and decided that it isn't for me.

It really doesn't do anything except make communicating more complicated than it has become.

I have a land line phone in my home, a personal cell phone, a business cell phone (all three phones have vmail; the two cell phones have texting), an office phone, an office fax and a home fax.

Some people will leave vmails on both cell phones and my office phone, then send an email or fax telling me that they have called. Or send texts to all my text-enabled phones.

I am most productive when I can close the office door and turn off all phones, faxes and emails. Twitter is just one more thing to turn off.

I don't think I'll become a stream-of-conscious Twitterer. I have not reason to send out messages like 'going to grocer', 'in produce section', 'buying figs', and 'selected plastic'. Too much communication.

MayBee said...

Twitter seems like a good tool for people who wish they had a stalker.

Freeman Hunt said...

There's no one way to use Twitter. You don't actually have to post continual updates of what you're doing, though you could. You could just share links, short ideas, thoughts you don't want to develop into a blog post, factoids, etc.

Michael_H said...

"You could just share links, short ideas, thoughts you don't want to develop into a blog post, factoids, etc."

You mean like email?

blake said...

E-mail needs to be targeted so, no, not like e-mail.

What I see as a problem, at least for Althouse is that there's no comment section.

Like this whole biz of Kathy Griffin and Steve Wozniak. Comments are needed.

blake said...

Althouse the community, that is, not Althouse the...Althouse.

MayBee said...

You could just share links, short ideas, thoughts you don't want to develop into a blog post, factoids, etc.

I don't know. There is just something amusing to me about a thought that must be written and broadcast, although it isn't big enough to be developed all the way into a blog post. Who will be repulsed by a too-small blog post? What is the standard?
What will happen if we just keep that thought to ourselves- or share it with just one person in real life?
It's as if we need a different medium for all of our different-sized thoughts. And all of our thoughts must be committed to a medium.

With luck, we'll get some way to electronically share thoughts too small even for twitter. Maybe it will be called Blurt.

Michael_H said...

MayBee - Let's give Blurt a try.

WTF? Soup again?

Let me know if my thought gets through?

MayBee said...

Michael_H.


Too wordy. You had a thought you weren't quite ready to develop into a Twitter, but it was too much for a Blurt. We'll call it a Tweener.

A Blurt:

What?
SOUP??!

Freeman Hunt said...

You mean like email?

No, that would be really annoying if someone emailed out short thoughts, links, and factoids all the time. Much better to have a place where they can go look if they want. Also, you can see everyone's tweets in the Twitter feed; you don't have to open individual emails for each person and each communication.

Freeman Hunt said...

Who will be repulsed by a too-small blog post? What is the standard?

I don't like Twitter length posts on my blog. Especially not multiple ones. That's just a matter of personal aesthetic.

John K. said...

blake said: "What I see as a problem, at least for Althouse is that there's no comment section."

It's not a problem if Althouse follows those who follow her, AND her followers follow each other. Then everyone in the loop can see each other's "comments" (if I'm correctly understanding how Twitter works). Ann is now following only 5 people, but has 106 followers. What a diva! But I think you can respond to Ann's twits whether or not she is following you, though I'm not sure whether others following her will see the response.

I'm following Althouse on Twitter, but she has not reciprocated, boo hoo :(

You can follow me at twitter.com/johnkindley

Jen Bradford said...

Doesn't this beg the question of who you're twittering for? Not your friends or family presumably, since they either know or don't give a shit about the minutia of your daily movements, so who are the "followers"? Unless you're following a court case, or in a war zone or something, I just don't see the point.

I must be missing something. Plus I would be a little scared of anyone into following the sort of things I might twitter, since the people who love me most probably wouldn't bother.

Michael_H said...

MayBee- Yes!

Michael_H said...

"I think you can respond to Ann's twits..."

We've been doing that for quite a while on her blog, especially during the recent presidential campaign.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Twitter Whore!

Beldar said...

I won't Twitter.

Susan said...

Hugh Hewitt (on his radio show) convinced me to sign up for twitter. I don't use it to post personal thoughts and activities, although I have a couple of times. I use it to promote the grass-roots org. I'm involved with. It's working wonderfully. Most people I contacted on twitter had not heard of my group. Most were interested, many signed up for email bulletins, and some signed up to join local chapters. Success!

Kirk Parker said...

Meade,

"Yeah, and every now and then, a big hot bowl of elaboration."

I sure hope Titus doesn't read this. :-(

Jen Bradford,

"they either know or don't give a shit about the minutia of your daily movements"

Oy, it just gets worse and worse. Surely there's some penalty for incitement of this sort? :-)

MadisonMan said...

Hey, I fell on the ice too, today, Professor.

MadisonMan said...

See, I had to write that here, 'cause twitter accepts no comments.

Meade said...

"fell on the ice"

Sure glad I wasn't following MadisonMan. That might have hurt!

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, it's weird with no comments, but some other twitterers sent me direct messages. I haven't quite figured that part out yet.

The ice is terrible!

I hope you're okay, MM.

Daled Amos said...

Of course, terseness is not the only thing that twitter has with Instapundit--depending on how many twitterers you are following, it is ongoing throughout the day, giving a near-steady stream of information.

MadisonMan said...

Thanks, Professor -- I hope you're unscathed as well. Luckily, I fell right on the most padded part of my anatomy!

Then I got up to see if any of my neighbors saw the fall. They didn't. It would've made a great short youtube video.

A lot of my neighbors worked very diligently to clear ice of their walks today, and kudos to them! There are still some really treacherous sidewalks though, and my driveway is horrible!

Meade said...

Just now caught up on your twitter. I see I joked inappropriately to my surroundings. I'm sorry you got hurt, A, and hope Madison Man is okay too. I did the very same thing here last week. Classic banana peel slip and fall on my icy front steps and miraculously broke nothing. R-I-C-E Rest. Ice, Compression. Elevation.

And, yes, rock salt. Or better yet - lawn fertilizer (won't poison soil). Be good to yourselves, all.

rdkraus said...

Edit, edit, edit.

Delete, delete, delete.

Strunk & White.

The perfect gift for your college bound (high school bound?) youngster.

bgfred said...

Twitter somehow manages to strip away all the mystery without benefit of laying bare some greater wisdom or truth... other than the observation that even deeply interesting people can be rather boring up close. I'd rather not know.