Wednesday 3 April 2013

Corking it up

One of the life changes I attempted to make recently is to clean up my usage of Twitter.

Up until now it was mostly irrelevant junk. Some of it was interesting links and the occasional stimulating conversation, but the stream pretty much ended up being dominated by random uninteresting and malformed brain dumps and running commentary on sports events.

One of the effects of this obviously an impact on the quality of the network -- a large number of followers were bots and spammers. The more invidious impact, however, was on blogging. Owing to ready access to a Twitter client at pretty much all times, every time I'd think of something, it would immediately get posted on Twitter. There might have been a modicum of thought applied to figure out the optimum way to optimise the information density in the tweet, to make it pithy, funny and/or link-baity. After this, the tweet and its contents would mostly be forgotten -- unless it was really memorable, which weren't very many.

An instant means of vomiting a thought out meant that any germ of an idea would remain just that. It wasn't nurtured and allowed to develop into something more substantial. And this phenomenon wasn't just restricted to me -- a lot of my favourite bloggers noticeably slowed down or outright stopped posting on their blogs once they got on Twitter.

All this combined with the gradual flexing of Twitter's closed-platform muscle meant that I no longer wanted to rely on Twitter as a log of my thought processes. I ended up unfollowing a lot of generally pointless "celebrities" and actors, and cleaned up my lists to include a healthy number of people aligned with my more useful interests (science, data science, programming).

But more importantly, I am learning to bottle up my thoughts and let them age, till they're developed enough to be written down. I can't say that I've succeeded in doing this quite yet, but hopefully, these are steps in the right direction.


DR said...

I was just thinking this the other day. Not that I tweet much myself, but there are so many good bloggers who've been taken over by Twitter - it's easier to be witty, and the response is much more immediate.

DR said...

Didn't you once complain about the captcha on my blog? Glass houses, good sire!

Unknown said...

I've realised that Twitter is good for a quick laugh, but I very much prefer long-form funny to 140 character funny.

Also had to captcha-ify because extreme spammer activity was happening :(

Lisa said...

Interesting thoughts on blogging vs. tweeting. I don't see them the same at all and don't post to twitter the same way I do on my blogs. I too, however, have started making my tweets count instead of just tweeting for tweetings sake!