Tim recently posted about Twitter, and it got me thinking I should blog some of my own thoughts on the subject of Twitter (and related services such as Jaiku). Tim’s not the only person to move from tweeting a balanced mix that includes apparently superficial trivia to mainly, or even only, tweeting work or business-related stuff. From my point of view, that’s regrettable. I follow only a few people, mostly people I know in person, because I want to know what they’re up to and maintain some sort of contact with them as people, not because I see them as sources of business information. I’ve watched people’s blogs go from personal-with-some-work to mostly-work, now I’m watching people’s twitter feeds go through the same transformation, and for me there’s a feeling of loss, a feeling that I’m just watching more masks (thinking back to Julie Leung’s talk at Northern Voice) being put in place.
I guess it’s inevitable than any new mode of broadcast communication be coopted in this way. I’ve had the same feeling at NorthernVoice of being a King Canute in seeking to emphasize the personal communications aspect of blogging and social media; the additional problem there of course is that people happy to blog at a personal level apparently see no need to attend a blogging conference.
Many people whose recommendations I would value don’t blog much any more. They put the links to articles they’ve read, or books they liked, in their Twitter feeds. If I’m not reading Twitter at that time, I miss those links. No, I don’t like blogs that are solely link feeds, there does have to be a balance, but if something’s worth recommending, why not recommend it somewhere it might live longer than a couple of hours? And somewhere I have a hope of finding again if I have a mental bookmark that you wrote about something interesting while I was busy doing something else?