Discounting the last week, my last blog post was on 24 October, then 3 July, then 18 April. Prior to that I was posting a couple of times a month. So what happened to my blog in 2008?
I started using Twitter.
Twitter has been getting some mainstream press lately, mostly though celebrities using it — especially Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross. As with any new communication medium people are asking: what exactly is it good for? On the Twitter website the synopsis is: "What are you doing?" Well, that doesn't quite describe how I use it. Here's what I use it for.
I use Twitter for semi-realtime conversations.
It may have started out as "What are you doing?" but really, that's just the starting point. Sometimes you really do say what you're doing and if your friends find it interesting, they can comment on it. And not only what you're doing — what you're reading and thinking too. I made only two "QOTD" blog posts last year because I was using Twitter to point these out instead.
Using TwitterFox, which makes my followings instantly available, it's more immediate than a blog and its comments which you have to dive into a feed reader to follow. It's also more uniform than blogs-with-comments, in the sense that the original message and its replies have the same status — they are both just tweets, whereas a blog post is somehow more important than the comments attached to it.
But at the same time it's less immediate than, say, Milliways, or IM. There was a gaping hole between realtime chat and blogging in terms of immediacy and Twitter fills that gap, which I think is why it's so popular. Nobody really wants to know what you are doing every minute of the day and of course letting them know can be dangerous. But it's for sparking discussion and carrying it on, in a way that's in the present yet not demanding that you pay constant attention.