The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Twitter ate my blog!

I feared this when I began using Twitter back in 2006, but I was able to hold out until recently. I’ve finally given in. Twitter has eaten my blogging energy; it’s taken on a lot of the function that the blog should, could and occasionally has had.

I thought, at first, that Twitter would be mostly me communicating with a few friends, like say group IM. But it wasn’t too long before Twitter became more of a timely way to share snips of news and information. A place to ask questions and give answers. One blog function done right there.

I found myself live-Tweeting at talks and events where I once would have live blogged. My idea was that these would be my notes from which I would write the real post on the blog. It was and is so convenient to just type a sentence or two. Then type one more. Especially when my tweeple were egging me on as I tweeted the more interesting events and speaker. My tweeple would snipe, make jokes and send questions that in a few cases, I ended up asking the speaker or panel. Twitter was doing a better job than my blog at reaching out and interacting with my friends. I switched from live blogging to live tweeting entirely.

My iPhone. Need I say more? My iPhone with Twittterific was almost the perfect tweeting platform. If it only had ReTweet, it would be perfect. That and browser integration and of course Cut and Paste. But the iPhone ended up better for live tweeting. It’s much less intrusive than the laptop and always with me. Small, easy to carry, easy to hide err less obvious and about right for the 140 character messaging of Twitter.

When blogging, I needed my laptop. With Twitter, I only need my phone. Great little ideas and news, the kind of things that I read Ed Cone’s blog for, ended up on Twitter from my phone and never on this blog.

When I began this blog, I promised myself an entry per day, then an entry per week day, then a pass on vacation and travel. I made good on those continually modified promises for several years. But recently I stalled on the blog. What has ended up here recently has been recipes that my tweeple have asked for. Too long for 140 character messages. And some events.

True, I’ve also been involved in a lot of other writing–grants, proposals, class notes, and the like–that draw the blogging energy out of me. Still, I blame Twitter. It does a great job of highly interactive social communication.

And my Tweets and my Twitter page is public, even posted on this blog. My Tweets are carried over to Facebook as my status messages and kept there. Very nice integration.

So I’m not gone; I’m merely tweeting.


  1. Paul, I found the same thing after years of faithful daily and at least weekly posts, it seems that Twitter is the most I can muster, though trading pages of rambling prose for 140 character brevity was probably a good thing in my case 😉

  2. Until I can tweet comprehensively about Council issues I guess I’ll continue to orbit outside the tweet-o-sphere. I’ll keep an eye out for your occasional lapse back into the blog-o-sphere… Until then, thanks for all the posts

  3. So just revise your blogging commitment to a once-per-month roundup?

  4. I’ve approached the problem from the other side—by buying small laptops (sub-3lbs).

  5. Twitter just doesn’t do it for me yet. But I love being able to post less frequent notes to That’s what’s eating my blogs. Well, that and old age.

  6. This is interesting because Twitter has had the opposite effect on me. Although, this is probably mostly due to my increased amount of time now that I am no longer in school/working/organizing events. It’s now only working/organizing events. It’s amazing how much time school takes!

    I say opposite effect, but that’s not exactly true. When I want to share something longer and more coherent, I find it difficult to get a whole post in. Although, I think this is mostly due to my ability to get distracted as I’ve long had this issue with writing e-mail, leaving the e-mail and coming back to it.

    I think the real problem for me in regards to Twitter is that I have my account locked. I have it locked for a couple specific reasons, one of which is harassment by a friend’s ex-boyfriend. My more professional tweets I’d like to be open though.

    All in all, I think I speak for everyone when I say, keep the tweets coming!

  7. I read other people’s tweets over on FriendFeed. For a talkative person like me, 140 chars is far too restrictive. So I never registered on Twitter, do not have an iPhone, and use FF for brief stuff on occasion. This keeps my blog live and kicking.

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