"Let's all get small," quipped Steve Martin, well, that is where online content is headed.
In the past I have talked about blogs as a kind of journal or diary. And they were largely initiated by users for their own purposes- hobbies, sordid details of their lives, travel tips, etc. Commercialization of blogs has led to a new format, kind of like a magazine where you can flip through the various blogs and posts to read up on topics of interest which are either posted by organizations, or, supported by commercial advertising.
Going beyond that are micro-blogs which allow short bursts of information users put out to their network.
Micro-blogs, sites like Plurk, Twitter and Facebook, give users the chance to post brief comments, questions, information in just a few, or even one sentence(s). With limited space, messages are concise and targeted to the blogger's audience.
One of the most active "Twitterati" is Barack Obama who has over 34,000 followers and is following over 35,000 people. Where does he find the time?? Another example of a successful Twitterati is NASA. Yes, the Mars Phoenix Lander communicated with Earthlings through Twitter posts. All managed by a NASA intern, no doubt. The New York Times posted a sample of a Mars Phoenix "tweet":
Here’s a great picture of my deployed arm with the scoop on the end: http://tinyurl.com/3s354p I can’t wait to dig in the dirt next week.You can join the other 16,991 people to follow the Phoenix Lander on Twitter here. (Which, by the way, makes the Lander #13 on the list of most active Twitterati.)
Plurk expands the concept by posting comments on a timeline with all the responses grouped together. Users can "ask," "say," "wish," or more to friends. It is a little more sophisticated than Twitter, but needs to develop a following. I have been using both Plurk and Twitter and I have more work-related connections on Twitter, Plurk has not developed that audience yet. Read the Plurk FAQ.
Facebook, too, facilitates micro-blogging. It has a little section that says "Deb is..." and I occasionally update it to describe what I am up to. "Deb is looking for chocolate." "Deb is posting on her blog." etc. Not something I love to do, but it is fun to read what folks are up to. Facebook users can post messages, links, photos, etc. all in the short format that micro-blogging requires.
Tomorrow I will take a look at how micro-blogging impacts public relations, media relations, customer service and marketing- phew!
-I Can't Keep Up