Thursday, April 23, 2009

Is #twitter changing #blogging?

Anyone else noticing that we are witnessing a #tippingpoint?  Something happened about 3 weeks ago with #twitter that moved it from the emerging edge to the mainstream.  Just about everyone i know, including me started tweeting.  Non-tweeters are already complaining about twitter updates on Facebook.  #Hashtags are appearing everywhere.  I'm contemplating filing to add an @ sign as my first initial.  (okay, not really)

What i have noticed is that i am more conscious about what i put in the first 140 chars of my blog posts.  That it sets the context and gives a good idea of the content of the post.  I know this isn't and won't become an absolute.  But there is certainly a solid awareness of all of the different places this will now show up and the different ways people will be looking to assess context and content.

Also, i am finding that i am turning to twitter as my main platform for watching for trends, emergent information, and new connections--rather than blog feeds or other aggregators.  I am finding the enforced 140 char limit awesome in terms of helping to manage the signal to noise ratio.  

As Bryan Alexander tweeted today: 
"Managing feeds, in addition to (or instead of) managing items, is an aspect of digital literacy that’s only just emerging" - J. Udell
Thank goodness, it's not just me whose struggling to figure out how to manage all of the incredible amount of content generated.  And how to leverage these interconnected flows of information, insight and opinion.  

I am very curious to see how this will continue to unfold and how quickly we will see hashtags and @-signs become ubiquitous.  

The other pattern that intrigues me is the speed with which this happened.  I believe, if my understanding of his tweets are correct, that Neil Gaiman celebrated his 100,000 follower and his 333,333 follower within about 10 days of each other.  My thought is that the 'viral' nature of the web is evolving and becoming more powerful.  I struggle with the term 'viral' because it feels like it is a metaphor that is obscuring the deeper nature of what is happening here.  The ecosytem (if i may use the term) of the internet is evolving.  With its self-organizing, complex adaptive systems becoming more mature and robust.  The interconnections are beginning to approach the level of those found in nature:  like in a nervous system.  This took a while and it looks to me like we are arriving at a level of complexity and fluidity that will make some very powerful things possible.  Not judging good or bad, just noting the power factor.  

What are you noticing?  Any thoughts?

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