Friday, April 1, 2016

The Session #110: Why tweet?

For this month's Session, Sean Inman of Beer Search Party asks us "to take one last crack at "original" Twitter." Why does he suggest reducing The Session to a bunch of tweets? Something to do with it being April Fool's Day, I think.

While I have a Twitter account, I debated whether or not to participate in this Session. I'm not a big fan of Twitter. It's so terse and technical looking. Call me old fashioned, but it's virtually impossible to have a real conversation on Twitter. I've tried a couple times, and basically gave up, as 140 characters never seemed anywhere near enough to capture what I wanted to say. In one case, we moved the stilted discussion to e-mail and things went swimmingly thereafter. Twitter works well for sharing links of content, clever one liners, and delivering electronic "pats on the back" in the form of retweets and "likes". Beyond that, I've found Twitter pretty hopeless. If Twitter went away, my life wouldn't change much, although I'd probably be a bit more productive with my time.

Yes, blogging is in a slow decline, but let's hope it never goes away. I enjoy writing about beer in long form posts and reading like-minded people on their blogs. Quiet mornings spent writing and reading about beer is a great way to start the day. Twitter is noisy distraction.

Ray Daniels may have used thirteen tweets to discuss the future of beer, but that's hardly the longest series of tweets anyone's broadcasted. Entire novels have been written on Twitter over a long series of consecutive tweets. While some may find these endeavors an interesting linguistic exercise, I don't see the point. Who would mow their lawn with a nail clipper?

Yes, the internet has changed writing as we once knew it. Today, we live in a short attention span world and blogging has been part of that transformation. I've learned if I don't keep blog posts brief and to the point, they are less likely to be read. The same holds true for the few articles I've written for print publications. While you see fewer comments on blog posts these days, Facebook pages have become places for spirited discussions on beer in ways that aren't possible on Twitter. And at least with Instagram, I can look at pretty pictures. Will things change if Twitter relaxes its 140 character limit and allows tweets as long as 10,000 characters? At this point, I don't care.

Why tweet when you can actually say something in a blog post?  (That last sentence was under 140 characters by the way.)

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