I see Twitter often described as microblogging. As in, same as blogging, only the posts are smaller or shorter. I really don’t think this is accurate.
Why? blogs are about me me me. Sure there’s commenting and pingbacks and all that, so there is a kind of conversation that can happen (not much round here yet though since I’m such a noob LOL), but on my blog the focus is me. Through moderation I can control what conversation happens or does not happen on my blog.
I can customize too. When Loic Lemeur was talking about social media fragmentation a couple of months ago, he made this point quite clearly:
The challenge for Friendfeed and the like is that while I really like all my services gathered in one place, I would rather that these would be centralized on my blog instead of a third party service. Yes you can cross post or add badges, but it’s not really like a center feed in your blog. What I like about my blog is that it is my space, I own it, I can customize it and change it, I do not depend on anybody. [my emphasis]
He elaborates more on this in his Seesmic du Jour 115 from around the same time:
“You know why I want it back on my blog, it’s just because I own it. It’s my place – I can have my background, I can have my design, I can make it look the way I want, I can have it under my domain… we need the conversation centralized somewhere, maybe somewhere open where I kind of control it.” [my transcription]
(Interesting that elsewhere in his vid, he refers to Twitter as microblogging)
But the feeling is very different on Twitter — when I drop into the Twitterverse, it feels most definitely not about me. I’m there to see what the people I follow are up to. What kind of interesting links they are sharing. What the chatter is. My own tweets are pretty inconsequential – in fact every individual tweet is. It’s the flow, the exchange that matters. To me, that’s much more of a social network thing than a blog thing.
Actually, I think that Mathew Ingram hit the nail on the head recently when he characterized Twitter as the Facebook status update as a standalone app. Taking the best of social networking and stripping out all the crap. Too bad it’s having so much trouble lately.