When blogging and microblogging meet

Sample Twitter pageI blog a bit and I tweet (microblog) a bit too. I try not to over-do the tweeting as I don’t like seeing tweets every 5 minutes from the people I follow and I’m sure my followers don’t want to see me do the same. In fact, over-tweeting is the number 1 reason that prompts me to un-follow someone. Surely nobody can be that interesting or that prolific – can they? – unless they have nothing else to be getting on with!

I also try to differentiate between what I blog and what I tweet. The whole point of micro-blogging sites like Twitter is to let your followers know, in a succinct manner, what’s happening in Your World, right now, in 140 characters or less, with perhaps a shortened link included so that they can find out a bit more if necessary (for example, if you’re grumbling about a web site then perhaps point at the web site in question). Conventional blogging should (in my opinion) be used for the meatier stuff – your top 10 tips on the best ways to handle cold callers, or some instruction on how to install a website toolbar, or your experiences trekking through Outer Mongolia etc.

A sample blog postSo why do so many people choose to write a comprehensive blog post and tweet it too? If I find your blogs interesting I will subscribe to them and pick them up in my feedreader, iGoogle or some such. If I am interested in you as a person and am interested in your 140-character sound bites, I will follow you on Twitter. I might even choose to do both – but I wish that people wouldn’t take that decision for me by posting all their blog posts to twitter, and worse, by asking all of their friends (some of whom I also follow) to re-tweet everything for them! Sure – re-tweeting is good when it comes to the really important stuff, like looking for help resolving a problem.

It’s a difficult balance to achieve, but I think the real social and commercial winners will be those that manage to strike the right balance – blogging interesting content and ideas, and micro-blogging important snippets, without overdoing things and without constantly repeating and regurgitating old news.

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