Twitter Less, Blog More!
Given the religious following that Twitter is gaining these days, I am sure that this will be a polemic topic.
Still here it goes: Twitter less and blog more!.
Now let me draw my argument.
I do think that Twitter is a very useful online application, for several purposes. It allows people that work from home or alone in front of a computer all day to socialize. It allows bloggers and website owners to interact with their readers on another level. It should even allow one to make new friends and to get in touch with people that would be unreachable otherwise.
The problem I am seeing lately, though, is that many people are giving Twitter priority even when they have something interesting, useful or funny to say; or when they have some resources to share. In those situations, I think it would be a better idea to develop your thoughts and ideas a bit further, and post it on your blog instead.
Why? Because your blog is your property. It should be the single most important location for you on the Internet. It should be the place where people go to when they think about you. Your blog, not Twitter (unless you only Twitter obviously).
Even if you don’t like to think in abstract terms, there are material reasons to opt to blog something instead of Twittering it. In the long run every backlink and every visitor count. Guess what, every time you Twitter instead of blogging something interesting you are risking to lose visitors and backlinks.
This very post illustrates the case. My initial though was to Twitter about this. Since we have the limit of 140 characters over there, it would be something like “Hey guys, have you ever thought that perhaps instead of Twittering you should be blogging?”
Instead of doing that, though, I decided to develop my thoughts further and create a post with it.
Now think about two people starting today on the online world. One adopts the strategy I am describing here. The other goes religiously with Twitter, blogging once in a while. After one year, I suspect that the former would have a popular blog, while the latter would have a popular Twitter account.
Which one would you rather have?
58 Responses to “Twitter Less, Blog More!”
Daniel, thanks for this!
Yes, I have to admit to having been seduced by Twitter recently (my excuse being am new there so need to get used to using it!) and working less on my blogs.
I don’t really tweet except to say thank you, as I never feel I have anything very interesting to say (and am not very good at short and succinct!) But I have, as a result of Twitter, found myself spending more time on other people’s blogs.
On that note, I am off to write a post … thank you for the nudge!
Hey Daniel, I think you also think same as I do about all this twitting all over about the Twitter. Twitter doesnâ€™t have many features that can be useful. But many bloggers are using it as spoiler type. They post a title and link to their post there. 😀
Amen. I quit following a couple of blogs I had been reading because they simply became a place where people would dump a log of their twitterings from the day. Not very interesting. Plus, I don’t need to know that much info about people. Just keep the blog up to date!
Exactly. This is also why you shouldn’t use Blogger or WordPress.com. Some company is in control of your work, and can do whatever they want with it.
@Diane, glad the post managed to get you on blogging mode again :).
@Sidhartt, I think twitter its cool for many purposes, but one should not give it priority over its own blog.
@Bill A, agreed.
@Redwall, yeah, but I feel that the blogger-wordpress.com issue is not as alarming today.
Yes, when you have something significant to say, you should make a post out of it, but I don’t think every tweet can be converted into a full-fledged blog post.
Twitter is a way to quickly share useful resources/insights with your readers. And I think that’s why it’s different from blogging. Blogging is time consuming but tweeting can be done on the go via a cell phone.
Plus, if you make a really original and thought-inspiring tweet, you can always write a detailed post about it on your blog later. 🙂
@Moshin, I agree in fact I mentioned it in my post that for some purposes Twitter is quite an ideal tool.
The problem I see is people using Twitter exclusively these days, and for all purposes. There are so many insightful and useful ideas over there that could have been wonderful posts and articles if developed, yet many people fail to follow on that.
For me it’s an easy choice, since I’m a recently started blogger. Blogging all the way.
I can see why people would use Twitter instead of blogging, but as you mentioned in your post. Your blog is your property and that should get your main focus
exactly, and for me twitter is just more of a business tool rather than something that is used often..
anyway i have heard something from dp that twitter is even for sale!
Good points. On the other hand, I use other peoples’ tweets some days as my inspiration. What are people talking about? Is there a blog post in there I could write that interests me? Granted, I’m new to the entire experience (Twitter & blogging both). For this reason I’m mostly a Twitter observer, but Twitter has been valuable for discovering new bloggers, getting a feel for the blogging community and meeting some great people. It’s the next best thing for a person working from home who would rather be people-watching at a Disney park. 🙂
Quite frankly I don’t know what twitter is, have not bothered to explore it and for good reason. I am first and foremost a blogger and am getting sick of all these other sites that get in my way of generating good quality posts. They are a distraction.
@Cooker, if you are starting out definitely focus your energies on blogging. Once you have a good grasp of that then explore other tools and possibilities.
@Melvin, yeah many people use it as a networking tool (though you can accomplish that with a blog also).
@Otto, it is a good strategy, and I also try to eliminate as many distractions as possible.
Amen, Otto. All these Internet bells and whistles are just distractions that can actually hinder the development of a quality blog. Quite frankly, I don’t have enough hours in the day to “twitter” and I believe that Twitter will go the way of Friendster, Pets.com and Cabbage Patch Dolls…in other words, it’s just another fad that will flame out in a couple of years when everyone moves on to the next thing.
I personally don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter. I do you Thwirl so that I don’t have to keep a browser window open.
I tried to stay on Twitter longer but find that I didn’t have a lot to say but some seem to be twittering like a horny bird in spring.
Some are just gabbing but some are really using it to promote anything and everything they do.
I am running out of Twitter speed and I never really got past about 5 or 6 twitters a day. I just can’t help thinking it’s a big waste of time.
On the other hand it’s an opportunity to see what others are talking about and jump in, giving me an opportunity to meet people I would otherwise not have met. For this reason I will hang in there a little longer, plus 5 twitters a day at 140 characters isn’t taking up much of my day.
Reading the Twitters takes but a couple of seconds when Twhirl is running in the background.
Blog Oh Joe
It would be cool if their would be an cms with similar easy blogging widgets like there exists for twitter. Posting tweets at twitter is so easy and “painless” which is why it becomes a habit so fast.
A post at the own blog is much more work. ^^
Gotta agree with you, Daniel. I recently took a step back from Twitter, which you can read about here: http://openstacks.net/os/2008/04/19/making-a-twitteretreat/
Since making that move, my blog frequency has skyrocketed. I can only wonder how many thoughts that I’d chosen to communicate in 140 characters would have made much better blog fodder. One thing I’ve noticed is that the freedom from the 140 character limit has me writing much longer posts than I’m used to. Not sure if that’s a good thing, but it’s an obvious side effect of Twitter freedom.
The Masked Millionaire
I had to look the word “polemic” up on dictionary.com You learn something new everyday.
I have commented on several blogs recently about twitter. I was more or less beaten down each time by twitter fanatics.
Daniel you are right to bring up the polemic topic about twitter. Your blog is the most important place on the internet for your thoughts and ideas. Not some over-hyped IM in disguise site.
Twitter is a short cut and I suspect, for most people, not a very useful one.
Live From Las Vegas
The Masked Millionairhe
Great Point. Personally I found myself following more twitters rather than RSS, so I had some thoughts that a twitter following will be the new RSS…
But you are right, the river of news never stops. But I found twitter as a great place to post stuff, I would never do on my blog, like color of my shit, and help questions.
I also have my tweets posted on my blog as well…
I 100% agree with you. I admit at a personal blog of mine, I tried that twitter but really did not appeal to me at all. I didn’t see the sense of it really. So I could post what are you doing right now? Sitting here typing, I would be saying the same thing over and over. I mean seriously to put I am cooking dinner or reading a books I mean I just do not see the sense in it!
I’m fairly new to twitter. I’ve gone though the “I don’t get it”, to the “well, this is boring”, to adding enough of the right people for the “ahhhh, so this is why” to hit.
And what you say already makes sense.
When you twitter a resource, within minutes it’s out of sight for most people twittering. When it’s on your blog, it’s there. Creating value.
One thing I have noted. I’ve slipped into mostly following links posted from a third party. Not from the author. If I’m interested in that blogger, I’m already getting their feeds. It’s the goodies that don’t usually come within my radar that I grab at me.
@Bilingual Blogger and James Mann, yeah the interesting point is how quick some of those trends pass way. Does anyone even still use Facebook?
Yet sometime ago there was that big hype about adding friends there and stuff.
@Blog oh Joe, in theory posting a post in WordPress is just as fast as tweeting (only one extra click). The problem is the different of the content that must go on each one.
@Greg, checking your article.
@Marked Millionaire, yeah most topics regarding Twitter these days are polemic :).
@DT, I don’t think Twitter will substitute blogs or RSS, in fact I think as we move forward its popularity as a micro blogging tool will decrease, while people will just keep using it for some purposes.
@Susan, if you like IM you kind “get” Twitter more easily. But if you are not fan of chatting with people online than yeah it would be more difficult.
I agree with your post about Twitter. I am new to Twitter, and I think it is an interesting tool for building and enhancing relationships in the online world, but I do not consider it a substitute for blogging. No way.
In my book, I classify Twitter as “microblogging”–something qualitatively different from blogging. It’s for short updates and keeping in touch frequently. I can’t see it taking the place of a blog, at least not a serious blog that contains more substantive information. I don’t think Twitter is designed for that kind of publishing anyway.
I’ve played around a little with Twitter, but found it rather banal. Give me my blog any day – of course my blog is rather banal as well, but it’s my banality.
Daniel, well put! I am a Twitter-head, and a Blogger and I can see where the balance may be off. I shall look at adjusting it. I will say however, that I have met my sphere on Twitter, and feel it has been priceless to be a part of. But saving your best for your Blog is good advise. Thanks
I am finding it amazing how some can blog and twitter at the same time.
Since twittering won’t go away any time soon your point on ‘blog more and twitter less’ is well taken, if ever I get enough courage to twitt.
Thanks for your daily tips.
Excellent post. My first time here.
I am sure that Twitter will gain enormous growth and then I believe a strong percentage of those that got into Twittering will reduce or cease their Twittering and opt to reading more substantial posts via blogs.
Twittering definitely has merits. But I agree with the above post. Twitter content is “ethereal” and blogging leaves a more permanent record, a legacy if you like.
If your good at twittering then i think you will like Twitter?
@Steve, I would say some people use it as a microblogging tool, but I think it should be used more like an IM.
@Mr Morissey, I will check out your blog :).
@The Recoach, as Moshin said, you could still Twitter thoughts and ideas, just make sure that you will also follow them up on your blog, hopefully after getting some feedback from Twitter followers.
@thecook, yeah doing both things actively is quite time consuming.
@Stan, that is true, apart from the fact that there is a difference regarding who owns the content on both platforms.
My issue is, over-tweeting for promotional reasons. I really like Darren’s site, Problogger, but I must have received 25 tweets over the weekend, nearly all of them promotions for one thing or another that he runs. I will probably stop following him and / or stop getting alerts to my cell because it feels like spam via text message.
Self control has to happen with Twitter because it can be abused much in the same way myspace bulletin posting can be – and after a while readers stop reading it. So who wants to follow me on Twitter? lol.
At least when I tweeter – the odds are someone will see it.
I don’t know whether your advice – “Twitter less and blog more!.” really holds.. Twitter is still in its very early days.. have found acceptance only among tech geeks.. We don’t how it is going to be, when it starts finding acceptance among mainstream people.. So until then “Twitter less and blog more!” may be correct.. But if Twitter finds as much acceptance as facebook, then it may well change to “Twitter more and blog less”.. Since everybody including u and me love things that are concise and straight to the point..
@Robin, I don’t agree.
My point is: you own your blog, while you don’t own your Twitter account.
Post all your cool ideas and links on your Twitter account and you will have many followers. But so what? Can you monetize that? Can you launch other projects from that?
I think a blog is much more powerful for those.
Yeah.. I agree that.. today.. we cannot monetize Twitter or launch other projects now.. But Twitter is in its very early days.. we still don’t know how it will shape up.. In the future, there may be a way to monetize Twitter.. We still don’t know..
@Robin, regardless of that, I would not invest my time and energy into something that I don’t own.
Even if in the future ways to monetize or benefit from a Twitter account emerge, the service could still crash right? Suppose they have a technical glitch and all your account is lost.
They have their ToS to secure themselves, and you will be left with empty hands sending emails to their customer support, in vain.
Not a scenario I like :).
Julie N (FreeBirthdayTreatsBlog.com)
Daniel – as usual you speak words of wisdom. It is so easy to get caught up in the Twitter scene that I lose focus on my blog posts. I’m off to write some right now! Thanks!
Iâ€™ve played around a little with Twitter, but found it rather banal. Give me my blog any day – of course my blog is rather banal as well, but itâ€™s my banality.
At least when I tweeter – the odds are someone will see it.
“My point is: you own your blog, while you donâ€™t own your Twitter account.”
This is it in a nutshell. I was thinking of a clever way to refute the premise of your post, but the line above has slain me.
When you consider your blog as the love of your life then commit to it. Twitter has its uses – all of which can very well be valuable to your blog. But in the grand scheme of things, Twitter is just your fancy town crier.
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Good points. On the other hand, I use other peoplesâ€™ tweets some days as my inspiration. What are people talking about? Is there a blog post in there I could write that interests me? Granted, Iâ€™m new to the entire experience (Twitter & blogging both).
I don’t know what it is with everyone and twitter. I hear soo much about it but i never caught on. I’ve had an account for over a year i probably twitted about 10 times and not continusly either. The funny thing is that i receive emails from twitter telling me that people are following me on twitter.
Thank you Daniel for posting this informative article. I agree with you that Twitter less and blog more. Twitter provide great platform to share recipes, article, links and useful tips with friends. we get in touch through our cell phone with whole world.
Great post…..less isn’t always more and by way of demonstrating this, I retweeted the piece 😉
Seriously, you last point is in my view the key one – would you rather have a successful blog or busy Twitter account. Personally, when I get to 200 following or followers, I have a clear out……both ways. Why?
It keeps me thinking and innovating, new topics, new ideas, new areas of interest – and new blogs too!
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