Two years ago, I scoffed at Twitter. A few months later I experimented with it, and now I consider it an essential communications channel. Like many bloggers, however, I’ve noticed two things: a sharp drop in my own posting frequency, and a huge backlog of unread posts in my feed reader.
I tend to read blog posts when people link to them on Twitter. Recently, two of my friends wrote about related issues that have been on my mind: the time zone problem and the evanescent nature of Twitter.
I know what he means; I often miss tweets from friends in Europe and Australia, unless I’m suffering from insomnia, in which case I often lull myself back to sleep via Twitterific on the iPhone. Here are a few solutions:
- Subscribe to the RSS feeds of Twitter people whose posts you don’t want to miss. (See image.)
- Visit the Twitter home page of your favourite Twitterati to catch up on their posts.
- Create a column in Tweetdeck for Twitter friends in distant parts of the world, so they’re grouped in one place.
His post made me think about the nature of blogging vs. Twitter. If I want a message to have some staying power, I should make the effort to blog about it. Sure, I can tweet it, but in a few minutes that tweet will be gone from most followers’ screens (if they saw it at all), whereas the blog post will live as long as I do. In most cases, I will post a tweet that links back to the blog post, thereby reaching a broader audience.
For me, Twitter is an essential channel, but I always have to keep in mind that in the larger scheme of things, the stuff I post on Twitter is here and gone in short order, and may not be seen at all by those in other time zones. What do you think?