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Wednesday 7 January, 2009

Wise words from Miss Kiss:

'It seems inevitable that blogs will become more 'twittercentric'. What seemed an impossibly brief method of communicating - just 140 characters - is actually much of the appeal of twitter in our information-saturated online routine. What is important, however, is that tweets retain their context.

This [twitter] is essentially a communication tool rather than a publishing method, and as such each message is typically part of a longer conversation. I wouldn't welcome a return to the cluttered web forum format, but if tweets are to be included alongside standalone blog posts, they need to be contextualised.'

The temptation here is for me to scrap all blog content, and just post up my twitter feed, alongside my new found love of video / video dialogue pieces. Who has the time, or desire, to sit down and construct a useful blog post, when a simple 140-character tweet will do the trick?

(Um, I'm obviously constructing a blog post here, but it's not exactly well thought out...)

It turns out that I've sent out 2,072 tweets in less than a year, compared to 1,941 blog posts over a five year period. Quantity isn't the same as quality, but then twitter is not about composing perfect prose.

You see the thing with weblogs is that the space has become occupied by either BIG media or idiots (oh the temptation to link.) Only a few bastions of old school blogging remain true to the original exchange of information ethos. Cross-blog linking has long since been forgotten; RSS / online egos saw the end of this.

Likewise for blog comments. Paul Carr has the right idea about turning these off: if you want to engage with him, then do so via the accountability of twitter, and not by hiding under the anonymity of an idiotic commenter's name.

As for online forums? So '98, dahhhling. So full of s*** as well.

Balance your online tweeting activity with a well-managed RSS feed, plus a few choice and selective podcast subscriptions, and you'll wonder why you ever participated in the dreaded blogosphere in the first place.

The prediction from Wired that blogs are dead may have sounded dramatic at the time, but twitter is taking control. Switch your twitter conversation to a third party app like TweetDeck or twhirl, and it's one guaranteed way of not getting any work done during the day.

The search function on TweetDeck is wonderful for connecting you with the local twitterati. A quick search for Stockwell and Brixton, and my online micro-local network is already there for me. They're turning out to be lovely (and very useful) people as well.

The only trouble with twitter is that the demand is fast overtaking the capacity. Witness the sighting of the famous twitter fail whale during the Macworld keynote speech last night (although this is more interesting in defining the twitter Mac demographic, rather than the failure to manage the demand. And let's not even get into the Macworld keynote speech, which basically boiled down to a few software updates, a new MacBook Pro and a standardisation of the iTunes library - yo, way to go, Apple.)

Add in to twitter the breaking news angle (I found out about the KP resignation long before the BBC 'broke' the news,) the exchange of football content, and even the ability to engage directly with BIG media that was off limits beforehand (@bbc5live is v good at responding,) and you can soon see how twitter is the most exciting tool to hit the modern interweb since, oh, the first time you found your ex on Facebook.

An interesting six months or so ahead.

Blogs are dead. Long live the tweet.