Thursday, May 31, 2012

5000th Tweet

Today I posted my 5000th Tweet. I've apparently been a Twitter user since 1 December 2008. I remember not Tweeting anything until 15 July 2009, when I attended a Webcast about "security monitoring." The speakers were using Twitter to gather questions, so I decided it was a good time to try participating.

With the advent of Twitter I've blogged a lot less. It's tempting to think that I've been sacrificing long, thoughtful blog posts for short, mindless Tweets. It turns out that a decent portion of my blogging volume, especially in my early blogging years (say 2003-2006) involved short posts. I recently reviewed a lot of my earlier blog posts, and noticed many of them looked just like Tweets. They may not have fit within the 140 character limit, but they were short indeed.

For me, Twitter is a very compelling medium. It's more interactive, more frequently updated, and just easier to use. I have only ever blogged from a laptop. I use Twitter a lot on my phone and increasingly on my tablet. The ability to send a Tweet while reading a Web page is especially compelling.

On the down side, Twitter surely lacks the "institutional memory" of a blog. I can easily search my blog for past content, navigate via time or label, and read fairly complete thoughts in a narrative format. I can build a new book around ideas on my blog; I can't do that with old Tweets.

Note: can anyone remember who posted the analysis of blogging vs Tweeting output? I was listed in that post but I don't remember who wrote it. Also, thanks to activating a setting on the blog, I now get an email whenever a visitor posts a comment for moderation. Expect faster response times now!


Mrs. Y Iswhy said...

You might find this post by Seth Godin interesting on the subject of blogging Vs. Tweeting.

What are you leaving behind?

I love watching contrails, those streams of white frozen exhaust that jets leave behind. It's a temporary track in the sand, and then the sun melts them and they're gone.

Go to Montana and you might see the tracks dinosaurs left a bazillion years ago. Same sort of travel, very different half-life of their passage.

All day long you're emailing or tweeting or liking or meeting... and every once in a while, something tangible is produced. But is there a mark of your passage? Fifty years later, we might hear a demo tape or an outtake of something a musician scratched together while making an album. Often, though, there's no trace.

I'm fascinated by blogs like this one, which are basically public notes and coffee breaks by a brilliant designer in between her 'real' work. Unlike tweets, which vanish, Tina's posts are here for a long time and much easier to share and bookmark. Her trail becomes useful not just to her, but to everyone who is interested.

What would happen if you took ten minutes of coffeebreak downtime every day and produced an online artifact instead? What if your collected thoughts about your industry became an ebook or a series of useful instructions or pages or videos?

What if we all did that?

BitMonkey said...

Not that my opinion matters too much but I really miss your blogging vs tweeting. The blog posts, short or long, are complete thoughts with complete context. There have been blog posts over the years that have forever changed my approach as a security professional. The kind of posts I've read several times over throughout the years (not unlike your books).

Tweets are tangential and have almost an "inside joke" sort of feel as an outsider. Frankly I got more meat and potatoes out of snort-gui IRC when that was more active because I could follow both sides of the conversation.

So ultimately tweeting or blogging is your personal form of expression. You'll use what works for you. All I can is as someone that has gratefully received a lot of inspiration from you over the years I got a lot more return out of your blogging.

@haroonmeer said...

Hi Richard.

I did the post you are talking about in 09 while I was still at SensePost: