Is this analogy true or false?
Blogs are to bloggers as Twitter is to bloggers.
I would say no – this is false. This isn’t true. If you’re a Twitter user, this does not automatically make you a blogger. I have been guilty of making it seem like it is, but that’s probably because I’ve been roaming around the area going to events, conferences, posting on my Posterous blog or one of my other blogs that I write for here or here. Nevertheless, that’s not a good rationale for why Twitter has become a suitable replacement for my thoughts as a blogger.
Why is that? It’s probably because I think that a lot more interesting and well-thought out concerns and ideas can be addressed in a blog rather than through 140 characters. With 140 characters, you’re going to have to be succinct in your thoughts to get straight to the point. If you tweet too much about a subject consecutively, then you’re going to force people to reference the specific tweet they’re replying to and also create too much noise which will detract people from following you any further.
A blog allows you to have interesting conversations and is not as real-time as FriendFeed. Twitter doesn’t continue the conversation – merely allows you to simply interject some short dialogue. For businesses who want to truly engage and flush out ideas and have meaningful relationships with their customers and audience, I would suggest that you don’t bypass the blog and go straight to Twitter. In moments of crisis and celebration, you’re going to want to be able to track, monitor and conversate on the same page as those who are interested in your response. This is what a blog is for. It’s your main sounding board.
Think of this as like you’re in a business conference. Everyone is interested in hearing everyone talk. The hallway networking is Twitter, but the side rooms where you have sessions and panels are your blog. People will most undoubtedly wander in and out from time to time, but the point is that there’s a structured Q&A portion where you can ask questions and get it answered or at least find the exclusive or get an update on what’s happening in the company without hearing about something else that may or may not be relevant or interesting to you.
For me, I’ve seen Twitter become a growing distraction in my communication structure and think that there may be a problem with people and businesses seeing it as the greatest thing since sliced bread in this digital age…and it is a great tool, but don’t be entirely dependent on it. Remember that there are other devices and tools for you to use to effectively communicate and at least get your message out right and be a controlled sounding board. I’ve been caught up in my busy life that I haven’t been able to post as much as I’d like on this blog and instead have turned to post random spurts of insight and knowledge in 140 characters on Twitter when they could be expanded and well-thought out in at least 500 words not characters.
Start blogging and have meaningful discussions. Twitter when you have snippets of information and want to have conversations. If you find yourself engaging in multiple topic-specific tweets consecutively, take it offline and bring it up in a blog post. That way everyone will be happy and you’ll show you’re interested in having a structured and valuable relationship.