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Won't You Please Be My Special Social Networking Friend?   07.29.09


We're on Twitter and we're going to sink your battleship!

I've heard that some people are abandoning blogs in favor of Facebook and Twitter. And here we are, just catching up with the pack as they scatter. Yes, Twitter and Facebook are handy, but I don't think that their sum equals the demise of blogs.

Blogs are just a way to get information across to an audience, the same as Facebook and Twitter. But, there are a few key differences. Organizations opt for Facebook because it has a large following, you can post a variety of material, it has a built-in newsfeed and allows for event notifications on a large scale, and a large portion of its audience is obsessed with Facebook. Twitter is nice because it forces the writer to be succinct. It's like sifting through headlines without all the pesky content. Twitter reads like a newsfeed, displaying all the tweets from the people you have opted to follow. There is no need to check individual profiles for updates. It also has garnered a somewhat rabid fanbase. The problem with both of these systems is that to get full access, you have to have an account.

Facebook is notorious for altering their terms of service to figure out how to best monetize its platform. Twitter is a strange and rather opaque service at this point. There are so many hacks and special languages in order to fit desired content into a 144 character format that it can sometimes be like trying to decipher a Little Orphan Annie message without the decoder ring (and is often equally disappointing). Why are people using a pound symbol: "#"? What does RT stand for? Why should I care what you're eating?

Blogs are typically straight-forward content presented in a straight-forward manner with flexibility of length and type of material that can be presented. And, what is best, is that there are no strings inherently attached. Some sites will require registration, but for the most part, blogs are public. What is both the great things about blogs, as well as their downfall, is that there is no character limit. We need long-form content. Not everything can be summarized in a tweet or a Facebook quiz. On the other hand, once blog software became readily available, so did the pictures of every mother's child as well as rambling vacation stories. Blogs are a tool, and every tool has the potential for misuse.

So, we are on Facebook and Twitter, because they are useful, but we also started a blog. We hope that you find some use from it as well. Please let us know what type of information you would like from us, or if we're just lost in the clutter of baby photos and political rants that occupy the greater part of the internet.

Posted by Christopher Lynn, Executive Director

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

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