Geeks With Blogs
Caffeinated Coder A Grande, Triple Shot, Non-Fat Core Dump by Russell Ball

I have a confession to make that will probably seem scandalous to all of you hip technophiles.

I just don't understand the allure of Twitter and other micro-blogging platforms.

I definitely see how Twitter could be a formidable weapon in the social networking arsenal of a teenager, but I am just not convinced that it is a positive development in the professional realm.

It's not that I don't value formats and technologies that encourage conciseness and lower the barrier to entry for publishing. By eliminating the overhead and expense associated with traditional paper publishing, blogging has allowed people who are competent writers and have interesting ideas to produce compelling content that otherwise would have never been made public. Likewise, the concise format of blogs makes content much more accessible to readers who normally aren't willing to devote the time and effort required to read books.

Some people think that micro-blogging holds that same relationship to traditional blogging and thus democratizes publishing even further while making content even more accessible.

I would argue there is a point where communicating becomes too easy and quickly loses its intrinsic value.

For example, every time I've visited the GeeksWithBlogs Twitter stream page, I often see Tweets like these:

  • Driving to work...
  • Waiting for my computer to boot up...
  • Thinking about having a burrito for lunch...
  • Watching TV commercial...
  • Just scratched myself...

Even if it were my friends and family who were sending me these types of updates, I would still probably set up some junk mail type filters to rid myself of the noise. The fact that these are all coming from people I don't know takes my level of disinterest to a whole new realm. 

I might be able to justify spending time on Tweets if they offered brain candy-like entertainment such as this:

  • Was attacked by a band of ninjas. I dispatched with them quickly but got ninja blood on my new shirt...
  • I just took a dump on boss's Lexus. Suddenly I feel much better about having to work this weekend...
  • An old girlfriend just called and said she was pregnant. I pulled the old 'no hablo ingles' trick on her...
  • Police are chasing me. Looking for a place to hide-out for the night...
  • Those scratch marks that Joe's wife left on my back last night still sting...

Alas, I only saw one Tweet that had much entertainment value today.

"taking coffee away from a developer is like taking away a dominatrix's whip. You just don't do it.". dredding.

Otherwise, Twittering just seems like a lot of empty mental calories that is sabotaging my struggle to improve my signal to noise ratio.

Given the current direction of blogging, I expect micro-blogging to soon be overtaken by the next logical step, which I'll call "quantum-blogging". This will allow people to finally blog without expending any effort whatsoever. These next generation twitter devices will be able to auto-generate content based on input from built-in physical sensors. Here's a glimpse at what you have to look forward to:

3:03 Caffeinated Coder farts.

3:05 Co-workers complain about a funky smell. Caffeinated Coder pretends not to hear

3:06 After checking their quantum twitter feeds and confirming their suspicions about the source of the bad smell, co-workers throw heavy objects at Caffeinated Coder.

3:07 Caffeinated Coder is forced to relocate his workstation to a small, dark, and noisy server room closet.

3:08 Caffeinated coder is cursing and smashing his twit... [transmission ended due to twitter device malfunction]

So what is the moral of the story?

Writing something of value is difficult. Writing something of value concisely takes true talent. Writing something of value in less than 140 characters is probably an act of folly.

Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 12:08 AM Musings, Rants, and Humor | Back to top


Comments on this post: Twitter: The Future of Blogging or Digital White Noise?

# re: Twitter: The Future of Blogging or Digital White Noise?
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Well, I've taken your message to heart, and while I've never looked at Twitter as anything other than an amusement, I realized I wasn't being nearly amusing enough.

Ever since I read your post, I've really been taking steps to try and correct that. The amusement factor for myself has gone WAY up. So thanks for upping my fun level!

I should probably get hooked into the GWB twitter thingy sometime.....
Left by George W. Clingerman on Dec 30, 2007 11:57 PM

# re: Twitter: The Future of Blogging or Digital White Noise?
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Looking forward to your tweet entertainment.

To be fair, I've decided to give it a try myself to see what it is like from the authoring end. I like twittering a lot more when it is a smaller group of people you know and you are adding comments as well. Maybe I just approached it from the wrong end by trying to just reading them like I do blog entries.
Left by Russell Ball on Dec 31, 2007 11:02 AM

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