Why has micro-blogging become so popular

14 Dec 2007 - 12:25pm
6 years ago
14 replies
2363 reads
Sachendra
2005

Hi,

I can relate to people asking questions, posting experience/views,
promoting product/ideas etc; in blogs. What I cannot understand is why
"What are you doing right now" (Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku) has become so
popular.

What value does micro-blogging add which conventional blogging lacks?

-Sachendra

Comments

14 Dec 2007 - 3:46pm
Vishal Subraman...
2005

It goes to show that people have way too much time on their hands :)

--
-Vishal
http://www.vishaliyer.com

On Dec 14, 2007 12:25 PM, Sachendra Yadav <sachendra at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I can relate to people asking questions, posting experience/views,
> promoting product/ideas etc; in blogs. What I cannot understand is why
> "What are you doing right now" (Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku) has become so
> popular.
>
> What value does micro-blogging add which conventional blogging lacks?
>
> -Sachendra
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

14 Dec 2007 - 3:57pm
pnuschke
2007

1) Doesn't require thought or reflection, so it's easy.
2) Can be funny...may be some social element here (other people post funny
stuff so I do too).

On Dec 14, 2007 12:25 PM, Sachendra Yadav <sachendra at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I can relate to people asking questions, posting experience/views,
> promoting product/ideas etc; in blogs. What I cannot understand is why
> "What are you doing right now" (Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku) has become so
> popular.
>
> What value does micro-blogging add which conventional blogging lacks?
>
> -Sachendra
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

14 Dec 2007 - 4:14pm
.pauric
2006

Sachendra: "What I cannot understand is why "What are you doing
right now" (Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku) has become so popular."

I grew up in a small remote town where everyone knew everyone else
and even strangers said hello, asked how you were doing and commented
on the weather. I noticed this is less common in larger towns and
cities.

I see the 'micro blog' not at a sharing of information but the
fulfillment of a basic human need to connect at a simple level have
have our/their existence acknowledged.

To my mind, its more about the act than the content. Yes, there have
been some 'practical' uses of places like twitter but I think
there's a substantial underlying human need being met with these
tools.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23528

14 Dec 2007 - 4:29pm
bminihan
2007

The difference could be the time it takes to compose. A blog is like a book
report, term paper or official "position" on something, whereas a twit(ter)
is like an offhand comment. You don't have to think about the second one,
but you want to make a strong point (about fly larva, in my case) in the
first one.

I have 1000 ideas for blogs to write, and never feel in the right frame of
mind to write one. I wouldn't use twitter either, but can see its "stream
of consciousness" appeal, even if I personally don't need to share that much
with folks on the Internet...

Bryan
http://www.bryanminihan.com

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Vishal
Iyer
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 3:46 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Why has micro-blogging become so popular

It goes to show that people have way too much time on their hands :)

--
-Vishal
http://www.vishaliyer.com

14 Dec 2007 - 4:46pm
Rob Nero
2005

Sachendra: "What I cannot understand is why "What are you doing
right now" (Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku) has become so popular."

I see this as a reference to how blogs were typically used when I first
heard of them 10 years ago. At that time a blog was more of an online
journal for that person. They were more of a "stream
of consciousness" and a lot more personal. At that time, the idea of
having an online journal was opposite of how most people used the web.

Now blogs seem to always be themed. "Hi, I'm John, a graphic designer,
so here is my graphic design blog." Or, "I love cooking, so here is my
blog about cooking." Not that there are fewer personal blogs out there,
but I find myself visiting them less, and visiting specific themes
instead.

For me, the "Twitter" sites are pushing communications closer to
audiences, similar to how blogs initially did.

Rob

This e-mail and any attachments may contain confidential information of Northwestern Mutual. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of this e-mail and any attachments is prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify Northwestern Mutual immediately by returning it to the sender and delete all copies from your system. Please be advised that communications received via the Northwestern Mutual Secure Message Center are secure. Communications that are not received via the Northwestern Mutual Secure Message Center may not be secure and could be observed by a third party. Thank you for your cooperation.

14 Dec 2007 - 5:35pm
Meredith Noble
2010

> The difference could be the time it takes to compose. A blog is like
a
> book report, term paper or official "position" on something, whereas a
> twit(ter) is like an offhand comment. You don't have to think about
the
> second one, but you want to make a strong point (about fly larva, in
my
> case) in the first one.

I find this fascinating, because way back when, in the late 90s/early
2000s, I saw my blog as my "quick" way of getting a thought out into the
world. This was compared to writing an "article" for my site, which I
would carefully edit and revise to be as well-written as possible.

Now we've gone one step further, to needing a quick version of a blog
post. Amazing!

As a bit of a side note, it seems to me that the reason blogs became
popular was because they were a ready-made content management system.
People who didn't know a lot about HTML could get a pretty good looking
site up quickly, and without the need to crunch code on a daily basis.
If free, easy-to-use, *non-chronological* content management systems had
existed at the same time blogs became popular, would people really have
latched on to blogs as much as they did?

I admit that some information out there is genuinely timely, and loses
freshness after a few days -- it makes sense for that content to be in
blog format. That said, it seems like a lot of really great content gets
missed these days because it's been pushed down to the second page of a
blog. If the primary means of access of this content was by topic,
perhaps we'd serendipitously find content we're interested in more
readily.

Am I way out in left field with this?

Meredith

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Meredith Noble
Information Architect, Usability Matters Inc.
416-598-7770, ext. 6
meredith at usabilitymatters.com

14 Dec 2007 - 4:54pm
Neil Lee
2007

> I can relate to people asking questions, posting experience/views,
> promoting product/ideas etc; in blogs. What I cannot understand is why
> "What are you doing right now" (Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku) has become so
> popular.

The way I see it, microblogging is to weblogging what IM is to email.
It's just a different, faster, and more disposable form of self-
publishing.

I'm on Twitter and it's an awesome way for me to still feel connected
in some way to friends that live in different cities. It's also great
for when you're at a conference to let people know what you're
currently up to or where you're at.

Neil

15 Dec 2007 - 12:37pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> I see the 'micro blog' not at a sharing of information but the
> fulfillment of a basic human need to connect at a simple level have
> have our/their existence acknowledged.

I agree. I won't venture to guess why most people use it, but I can you tell
you that I use it to stay in steadier, yet more casual contact with friends
who live in other states (real friends, not just "socialware friends"). It's
just really nice to check into Twitter to see what everyone is up to. I feel
much more connected to them than I used to. Some friends I only see at
conferences once or twice a year, so it's great to be able to see what
they're doing and thinking about during their daily lives.

It's less formal than email, requires less effort, and because these posts
are so short, people are inclined to post fairly frequently.

-r-

15 Dec 2007 - 12:49pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> The way I see it, microblogging is to weblogging what IM is to email.

They have very different focuses, though. Blogs are more thematic, often
tied around a specific subject. But micro-blogs, and especially Twitter,
tend to be more about the poster's day-to-day life than their subject of
choice or area of expertise.

-r-

15 Dec 2007 - 4:35pm
Jerome Ryckborst
2007

I think these two statements are on the mark:

> I see the 'micro blog' not at a sharing of information but the
> fulfillment of a basic human need to connect at a simple level
> have our/their existence acknowledged.

> I use it to stay in steadier, yet more casual contact with friends
> who live in other states (real friends, not just "socialware friends").

Here's my view.

Microblogging is part of online social networking. I believe that the use of social networks, such as Orkut, MySpace, and Facebook, and their microblogging cousins, such as Twitter, are a response to the impersonal nature of our very large cities and to the vast geographic distances between small towns. Either way, it's a response to the physical space between us and the people we know.
According to anthropologists, the ideal village size is 200-300 people, or 100-500, depending on whom you believe. That's the number of people of whom a typical human can keep track -- the people we know well, the people we know casually, the people we know we've seen before, and so on -- a villageful.
Now, blend the idea of a physical village with that of an online social network.
With the advent of wireless technology, we get to take our village with us. It started with mobile phones. Then Web 2.0, which allowed us to post content and interact with and react to posted content. Also, the lines between handheld/wireless device and Internet/computer blurred. The result is that physical constraints, geography, and (to a degree) time zones are no longer an issue between the people in our personal, online villages.
Instead of looking out the window and seeing you walk by, in town, I look in Facebook and see you "walk by" there. Facebook tells me that you did this, you looked at that, you liked this movie, you joined that group, etc, etc. Wireless adds to this, since we can use our mobile phones to send SMS/text-messages to Twitter (or a similar service), which then updates Facebook or other social network.
As in a physical village, you're more connected or more involved with some people than with others. Similarly in an online "social network" you'll find that you talk or share with some people often, and others seldom.
Social networks fill the human need to connect.
To some degree, there is a behavioural difference, in that we have to consciously push updates at Twitter, Facebook, etc. Some products help automate this, such as Microsoft Communicator (is that its name?) which automatically tells my colleagues when I'm busy by looking at the meetings in my Outlook Calendar. And that's OK, because if my colleagues walked by my office, they would see that I'm "Busy". Why shouldn't my remote colleagues get the same benefit?
The younger generation, born after 1980-ish and sometimes called Generation Y, are more comfortable with this technology, perhaps because their youth makes them reckless about privacy. Generation X is a bit more reserved, but shares freely their opinions of products and services (e.g. movies). The Boomers are late to the party, but arriving in larger numbers every day -- many of them dragged onto Facebook by their kids or grandkids. And groups of all ages are likely more open online than in person.*
All this is my theory. Other people might say this is just a fad and this is just about entertainment -- and they could be right.

-=- Jerome

* From a study on workplace communication, titled "The Impact Of Group Size And Social Presence On Small-Group Communication: Does Computer-Mediated Communication Make A Difference?" by Lowry et al, in Small Group Research, volume 37 number 6, December 2006.

15 Dec 2007 - 5:46pm
Juhan Sonin
2003

Billions of netted sensors (plus a few strategically located on our
person) will auto-generate our daily routines data... no more
physically typing admintrivia into form input boxes. It's here now.

It's the Participatory Panopticon (listen here:
http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/shows/detail375.html)

-Juhan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23528

15 Dec 2007 - 5:58pm
SemanticWill
2007

Wow - Juhan mentioned Bentham's Panopticon - nice

will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
617.281.1281

On Dec 15, 2007, at 2:46 PM, Juhan Sonin <juhan at mit.edu> wrote:

> Billions of netted sensors (plus a few strategically located on our
> person) will auto-generate our daily routines data... no more
> physically typing admintrivia into form input boxes. It's here now.
>
> It's the Participatory Panopticon (listen here:
> http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/shows/detail375.html)
>
> -Juhan
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23528
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

15 Dec 2007 - 7:45pm
Jeff Seager
2007

Try this one, Robert and Neil: microblogging is to weblogging what citizens' band radio is to talk radio.

?;-) Jeff, enamored of metaphor

>
> > The way I see it, microblogging is to weblogging what IM is to email.
>
>
> They have very different focuses, though. Blogs are more thematic, often
> tied around a specific subject. But micro-blogs, and especially Twitter,
> tend to be more about the poster's day-to-day life than their subject of
> choice or area of expertise.

_________________________________________________________________
The best games are on Xbox 360. Click here for a special offer on an Xbox 360 Console.
http://www.xbox.com/en-US/hardware/wheretobuy/

15 Dec 2007 - 11:35pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> Try this one, Robert and Neil: microblogging is to weblogging what
> citizens' band radio is to talk radio.
>

Nice. :)

-r-

Syndicate content Get the feed