If you’ve ever sent a tweet in your life, congrats! You’re a micro-blogger. A communication medium that is more popular than people think, almost anyone who uses social media has performed microblogging at some point.
There are currently over 330 million active Twitter users that speak over 40 different languages. Micro-blogging is almost an art form and there is no question how much people love to do it. But what is it exactly and is Twitter the only place to post?
Micro-Blogging in a Minute
In a nutshell, micro-blogging is a combination of blogging and instant messaging that is intended for an audience to see (typically called ‘followers’). It’s all about expediency and efficiency. Micro-blogging works so well for people because they are busy.
We may have a lot to say, but we are willing to compromise that for convenience. Twitter started with a character limit of 140 and has now upped it to 280, but that’s the limit. The company realizes that the entire point of the site is micro-blogging and a cap is absolutely essential to maintain the integrity of that concept.
Micro-blogging is not simply comprised of text. It comes in many forms. This can include:
And pretty much anything else that people can come up with, as long as it’s quick and to the point. The origin of micro-blogging began in 2005 while describing a blog by Leah Neukirchen’s Anarchaia. Back then they were known as “tumblelogs” and consisted of a jumble of thoughts running along a concurrent thread.
Many people have the misconception that Twitter is the only place to micro-blog, but that is simply not the case. All you have to do is Google to find there is a multitude of sites that support the format.
Where do I Micro-Blog?
Although Twitter holds the lion’s share of consistent micro-bloggers, there are plenty of other sites if that doesn’t suit your fancy. The following are a few platforms to consider for your micro-blogging jaunts:
Super easy to set up, Tumblr is cool because you have the option of turning it into a full-fledged blog. You can also customize your micro-blogging platform, adding high-res photos and posting in a specific time zone. Owned by Twitter, Tumblr allows you to post all types of formats, including:
Additionally, you can move Tumblr onto your own domain. So, you can run a feed of your own in your own space, 24/7.
An app that allows you to find the “perfect places to go with friends” the site had over 275,000 users in the first year. Things have slowed a tad, but the idea is still the same. You can use the app to check-in with your friends and send micro-blogs about your activities. There is also a gamification aspect to the site as a user can earn badges the more they check-in and participate.
A free social networking and micro-blogging service, Plurk allows people to send messages that are up to 360 characters in length. Much like Twitter, updates are displayed on a timeline in chronological order. Messages are shown to those who have chosen to receive them (like ‘followers’) and they can respond through instant messaging.
Unlike Twitter, however, Plurk also allows people to text message via third-party applications. The etymology of the name is quite interesting. It’s a combination of the words “people” and “lurk” which makes perfect sense.
There are disputes that micro-blogging is disappearing. Many sites have shut down in the past 5 years that had been in operation for over a decade. Twitter, however, is still going strong which is a clear indication that the medium isn’t going anywhere soon. #TheEnd