Is Twitter Taking Over From Blogging?

Last Updated Oct 23, 2008 3:48 PM EDT

Blogging is dead. Long live Twitter, says Paul Boutin in a Wired essay. Apparently, "micro-blogging" sites such as Twitter and Facebook make blogging "so 2004". Brevity is now the watchword -- 140 characters is the limit of a Twitter text (a tweet).

Blogging is cumbersome by comparison. It is, says Weblogs and Mahalo's Jason Calacanis, "too big, too impersonal and lacks the intimacy" it once possessed.

Meanwhile, social media sites such as YouTube, Flickr and Facebook allow you immediate gratification and the option to post pictures and videos, not just text. Influential tech blogger Robert Scoble is leading the way by focusing on posting videos and Twitter updates, says Boutin.

But alecthegeek, responding to Rory Cellan-Jones's blog on the subject, makes a few interesting points in favour of blogs as a business tool:

  • They allow him to record detailed notes that he can refer to later.
  • Sometimes others find them useful and leave him nice comments.
  • Customers have been known to check out his blog before giving him a contract.
Mind you, social networking's also a useful tool for checking people out -- it's regularly used for recruitment and vetting potential suppliers.
The Today programme weighed in with a lively debate on the subject, pitting Luddite John Humphrys against Twitter advocates Robin Hamman of Web 2.0 consultancy Headshift and Technophile writer Kate Bevan.
But its value at work remains open for debate. BNET readers are clearly warming up to it, if Team Taskmaster's poll is anything to go by. Thirty nine per cent believe Twitter's definitely an asset at work if used wisely -- and BNET itself can now tweet readers the lastest business and management thinking.

But back to Boutin's assertion. Is blogging dead? Reason dictates that both blogging and micro-blogging will continue co-exist online, along with a range of other networking and communication tools.

Their value to business will also continue to grow, if only because a younger generation of 'digital natives' will integrate them into their working lives.

It's several months since I read Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff's "Groundswell", but I recall it offering some valuable tips on how to put social networking to work in your business. Might be worth dusting off for a re-read.