You know how you're sitting there, Blackberry, iPhone or smartphone in hand, when you live through a unique but compelling experience? The sort of funny, ironic, startling, refreshing or depressing moment that you just feel it necessary to share? Or maybe you're just bored - and you still feel like sharing?
Thanks to micro-blogging and the world of tiny little keyboards, this sort of event gets compressed into a curt, often ungainly 140 character shorthand.
And that means you have to drop adverbs, adjectives, descriptive phrases and ancillary thoughts, all the while hoping that your "followers" are sympatico, similarly culturally attuned, members of the same socio-economic tribe or equally ironic to understand the theory, the thought or the emotion behind your short transmission.
This is a very important point: speaking in very short fragments often forces you to refer to commonly known professional terms and cultural touchstones. That effectively blocks out people new to your community or those that hold a different point of view.
Even without these barriers, it's really hard to build an effective (and coherent) counterargument in 140 characters.
What's the happy medium? One Person Trend Stories. Three, four or even five paragraph posts that go beyond the obvious short descriptive sentence to build a proper (sarcastic or ironic) vignette.
- Enough is Enough! One Woman Takes a Stand Against Coffee Shops That Play Really Loud Music
- Testing her Patience: Aging Intellectual Defies Barnes & Noble Cashier
- iDoNotWant! Young Man Says "No, Thanks" to Latest Tech Toy
Honestly, I worry about having a Twitter message being taken out of context. My Twitter stream is populating my Google vanity searches, and many of the messages make no sense.
What about Plurk, I hear some of you wondering?
Umm. No. I've tried to work my way through some of those Plurkshops - both live and after the fact. The stream of consciousness commentary and non-sequential contributions really disrupt the flow and make it very hard to identify the wheat from the chaff.
If Twitter is like overhearing conversations on the subway, Plurk is a lot like summer day camp - everyone's there for the same purpose, following the same activities schedule - but some are keeners, some are dopes and a lot are just trying to fit in with the crowd.