Tweets kill that blogging urge
I remember years ago, William Gibson decided to stop blogging after a while because it was anathema to his day job of actually writing novels. Basically (and this is something I often say to myself), if you're blogging, you're not working. And for a writer, it's even more apropos, as the activity is *almost* exactly like your work - it feels like you're writing, you are moving the same muscles both mentally and physically, but at the end of the day you've been blogging, not producing a novel.
I'm starting to realize that using Twitter has a similar relationship to long-form blogging as well. Once you've reduced that blog-thought down to 140 characters and tweeted it, there's little urge to write any more about it on your blog.
For example, I could have Tweeted this whole post as:
"Tweeting totally takes away that blogging urge from me... Once I tweet about something, it's like it disappears from my mind completely."
That is a pretty good summary, though without context, and without any sort of explanation as to why I feel that way. You can follow up a tweet with others filling in details, of course, but it doesn't work particularly well I don't think. The question is whether for thoughts that don't need a much explanation, is that really good enough? Are all these extra words I'm writing now really just bloviating?
I can definitely tell you one thing I've noticed, and the reason I actually want to blog more - Tweets have no archival value of any sort. If you haven't noticed, I've stopped doing the daily Tweet summaries. Not only that, I deleted all of the old summary posts completely from the site, as I was completely sick of wading through them trying to find stuff I had written. When I first turned the script on, I thought maybe after a while I'd be able to go back and check the tweets and glean some interesting tidbits of something I was thinking briefly a few months ago, but both in whole and in part there was little value there, so I wacked them.
This brings me to my point. If tweeting has such dubious historical value, and takes away my urge to blog, is it something I want to continue to do? I don't know... It works well as a communication tool, that's for sure. But unlike a good IM conversation, I rarely expand on ideas much using Twitter. If I jumped into a chat, and wrote some opinion, usually I'd get a response, or a push-pull of opinions which might spur me to write a nice, long post clarifying my ideas about that topic. That post could spur comments or other blog posts, and at the end of the day if I'm lucky, there's been something of archival value created that myself or others can search for later and learn from. When I tweet though, the thought usually just seems to go out into a black hole, never to be seen again.
Anyways, I figured I'd write this all out rather than just tweeting it so as to not lose the urge. (Well, that, and I like bloviating, actually. So there.)