Monday, 26 January, 2009

Microblogging as a phenomenon

Let me admit it. Im not (yet) a micro blogging addict.
Neither was I a blogger about 5 years ago. Back then, blogging was considered niche, and the rules were just being defined. You'd get a quizzical look if you said you owned a blog (unless ofcourse, you were confronted with questions like 'what is a blog?'). But now, its commonplace and its exploding, so much so that standards are being rewritten for scalability.

Its just a part of life that has engulfed everyone, irrespective of age, culture, employment, status, and what not. And it is a great leveler too, because everyone's opinion counts equally. Well, not equally, but then the mode of expression does exist. It has become a natural form of communication for most; while it still remains a form of publicity for others. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

But thats not what this post is about.
In the same way that blogging has revolutionized the connected world, a new concept called microblogging is beginning to do the same. And right in the midst of this new paradigm is twitter. Here's a video about it: "Twitter in plain english"

Here's what BusinessWeek Says:

It's easy to laugh at nonsense on Twitter, the microblogging rage. "My nose is leaking," writes someone called Zapples, "so imma go to sleep now.…" But I've heard lots of similar drivel (and even produced some myself) on the phone—an important technology if there ever was one.

The key question today isn't what's dumb on Twitter, but instead how a service with bite-size messages topping out at 140 characters can be smart, useful, maybe even necessary. Here's why I'm looking. In the last few months, the traffic on Twitter has exploded, growing far beyond its circles of bleeding-edge tech enthusiasts and hard-core social networkers.

Yes, thats true. You will find many high profile celebrities, tech enthusiasts, company spokespersons, employees, product users and ofcourse, friends!
The fundamental difference between microblogging and blogging in the purest sense is that the former is centered around engagement and conversation, while blogging is more involved with expression and publishing. Yes, the boundaries are very fine. But what tells me that microblogging is still in its infancy is that the users are making up the rules right now. There is a large share of anti-twitter microbloggers out there who vouch for OpenMicroblogging (essentially get open source to do what wordpress did to blogging) and if you're one of them, there are other services available too. So why not Jump in and have some fun!

By the way, if you're wondering, I'm here

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