Twitter’s Magical 140

According to Wired magazine, blogging is dead. Sad that the venerable blog post…which broke down barriers of publishing…may be on the way out.

In some ways, it’s true. Blogging was amazingly democratic. Anyone could be a published author, just by posting a blog. For a little while, media giants reacted to the voices of regular people, some of whom became self-appointed experts.

Over the last two years, though, the media caught up. Many top blogs are part of the established media network. Professional journalists and media channels are using blogs to attract, well, us. Now, that democratic blog landscape is being claimed by mainstream media, decreasing the ability of regular people to become key opinion leaders.

Part of the problem is that the blog post…usually pretty short…is just too long. Our attention span is waning to the point that a few paragraphs is too much mental lifting. See Me Read Book.

The predicted replacement? Twitter.

So, if I seem a little long winded to you, check out my Twitter account at

Twitter posts (called Tweets) are limited to 140 characters. That’s about the length of one long sentence. For me, that’s usually two punchy, short sentences.

So, if you like someone’s writing, you can subscribe to their Twitter. Their random thoughts can be posted to Twitter. In best cases, Twitter posts are sharp, interesting, or funny observations. In worst, it’s agonizingly dull people sharing their banal lives.

And, as marketers see this shift, they are discovering new and interesting ways of leveraging the Twitter channel. Or at least as much marketing as you can do in 140 characters.

All hail the short attention span. Just do it quickly because we tend to bore easily!

5 thoughts on “Twitter’s Magical 140

  1. The new technologies are a godsend to writers who have been in the thrall of the gate-keepers of traditional publishing for far too long. To those who say that print-on-demand books and e-books will lead to amateur writers flooding the marketplace with their amateurish crap, I reply “how many books interest you when you walk through a bookstore?”. I’m lucky to find 8-10, out of the thousands on the shelves. Sturgeon’s Law applies to everything–discerning readers will find good authors, whether in the real world or a virtual one. Can writing get much worse than Stephanie Meyer, Dan Brown and Chris Paolini (all trad published authors)?

    I publish my work exclusively on my site and no longer send out stories/novels for publication. I have CHOSEN the indie path after 25 years of frustration and humiliation at the hands of editors and agents. I have tens of thousands of readers around the world…and I’ve never been happier.

  2. Twitter is still very niche. Although I adore twitter, I am still a big fan of using some long-format writing to express myself. I rely on images and illustration to support my writing and due to the technical nature of what I typically write about, I also require a stylistic separation of my narrative from “code” samples.

    What I really enjoy twitter for is the short-burst, topical click-through: “I found a great article that is relevant:“. Truth be told, many bloggers don’t have too much more to yield besides that. There are exceptions and for those, there are as many tweets pointing to the article that is relevant.

  3. Blogging isn’t dead simply because Wired declares it dead. Although, they do tend to be fairly skilled prognosticators.

    Personally, I do Twitter, and I know that Chris does as well. It’s okay, but somewhat…unsatisfying. Like eating Chinese food, and then an hour later, you’re hungry again.

    Blogging will remain a fantastic channel for people, especially for a guy like Chris Burns. (I checked out his blog and I am very impressed.)

    However, corporate and marketing interests tend to force a medium into change, and we are seeing that with blogging now. The medium is evolving.

  4. Pingback: Is Blogging Dead? « Streaming Thoughts Blog

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