For the long silence.
For anyone still reading here (Hi, Mom!), I've been having a bit of an internal debate on the value of blogging. It's resulted in my near complete migration to twitter for sharing insights and info.
And questioning why one would post thoughts to a blog, or provide links to cool stuff via one, when it's so damn much easier to 'bit.ly' great stuff, punch it out in 140 characters or less and move on, and get the 'social credit' for having done so via the twitter community.
Twitter has become a great medium for the zingy barb aimed at a Retweet. Many of my friends play Twitter like a game, with RT's and @replies as their scorecard. And I'll admit - it's pretty satisfying to get a reply or RT. Human beings want to interact. And a comment-less blog post isn't a conversation. An RT or an @reply feels more like one. And so the draw.
HBS tells us less the median for tweets is 1. Yep, one and done. Back in 2008, Technorati told us 95% of blogs hadn't been updated in 4 months. Remember Second Life? I still think 90% of their registrations were from ad agency jackasses trying to figure it out to sell tot heir clients. But people want feedback. They need feedback. We are hardwired to seek it out.
A draft White Paper entitled "Tweet Tweet Retweet" (Download TweetTweetRetweet) by Danah Boyd, Scott Golder and Gilad Lotanon even names the phenomenon of "Ego Retweeting". Some of the data cited (and yes, the paper leads with a 'do not cite' header):
"Based on 720,000 tweets captured at 5-minute intervals from 437,708 unique users, they found that:
• 36% of tweets mention a user in the form ‘@user’; 86% of tweets with @user begin with @user and are presumably a directed @reply
• 5% of tweets contain a hashtag (#) with 41% of these also containing a URL
• 3% of tweets are likely to be retweets in that they contain ‘RT’, ‘retweet’ or ‘via’ (88% include ‘RT’, 11% include ‘via’ and 5% include ‘retweet’
Based on 203,371 retweets captured from 107,116 unique users, they found that:
• 18% of retweets contain a hashtag
• 11% of retweets contain an encapsulated retweet (RT @user1 RT @user2 ...message..)
• 9% of retweets contain an @reply that refers to the person retweeting the post
It doesn't take much thought to zing off 140 characters of self-indulgent crap (exactly the reason many dismissed Twitter in the first place), but it does take time to compose something meaningful.
We need more ways not just to connect, but to connect with each other.
And we'll migrate to the tools that do it best.
Oh thank god there's an ironic T that summarizes this whole damn post.