The Microblogging Boom

Microblogs were first known as tumblelogs. The term was coined by Why [the lucky stiff] in April 12, 2005, while describing Christian Neukirchen’s Anarchaia:
“Blogging has mutated into simpler forms (specifically, link- and mob- and aud- and vid- variant), but I don’t think I’ve seen a blog like Chris Neukirchen’s Anarchaia, which fudges together a bunch of disparate forms of citation (links, quotes, flickrings) into a very long and narrow and distracted tumblelog.” (Wikipedia)
Jason Kottke (2005) described tumblelogs as
“A quick and dirty stream of consciousness, a bit like a remaindered links style linklog but with more than just links. They remind me of an older style of blogging, back when people did sites by hand, before Movable Type made post titles all but mandatory, blog entries turned into short magazine articles, and posts belonged to a conversation distributed throughout the entire blogosphere. Robot Wisdom and Bifurcated Rivets are two older style weblogs that feel very much like these tumblelogs with minimal commentary, little cross-blog chatter, the barest whiff of a finished published work, almost pure editing…really just a way to quickly publish the “stuff” that you run across every day on the web” (Wikipedia)

According to José Luis Orihuela in “Educar, El portal educativo del Estado argentino”, answering the question “What are you doing” using 140 characters or less, has become the new phenomenon of the social web. Micro-blogging is the latest and most popular manifestation of the “snack culture” that favors the shortness of the texts, the mobility of users and virtual networks such as emerging social environment.

Launched by the California statup Obvious Corp. in October 2006, Twitter started to becomethe new Web 2.0 boom in March 2007 when it won a Web Award in the blogcategory at the conference South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Conferences and Festivals (SXSW) held in Austin, Texas.

What are you doing? is, in fact, the simplest and fastest way to understand the role of Twitter: the aim is to say via text messages (140 characters or less) what you are doing (via Web, instant messaging clients or SMS) . The contacts (followers) can respond by putting an arroba before the name of the user they want to speak to, and users that follow this contact generating a stream of messages that can be accessed by the same method (Web, customers instant messaging or SMS messages).

From the initial explanation of the functions of Twitter, the question arises inevitably: Why would anyone want to tell what he is doing at every moment, and, above all, why and who would want to spend time reading it? As is often the first questions we often ask to each new technology does not often help us to understand it, as they are made ​​from a culture of previous technologies.

Twitter can be judged quickly, but wrongly, as a giant commonplace as a way of wasting time reading dissemination and irrelevant content . This error has been committed with blogs, and is committed every time we confuse  a potential tool with the more generically extended uses in its stage of initial adoption.

As happened with blogs, microblogging also is inventing a language, a style, conventions and some few uses. From now on we will have to explore and exploit its potential in education, journalism, marketing and politics. We are talking about edutwitters, journalism twitters, viral marketing via twitters and the use of twitter by the presidential candidates in the United States.

The mass media have already landed on Twitter, in most of cases to republish the contents of their RSS feeds, but we all know that traditionally the first content of the new medium is the old way. There will be time to develop journalistic practices that take advantage of the enormous potential of this tool for development in real time from mobile devices of any type of coverage. For their part, journalists and columnists looking themes for their columns request information, seek sources, some content forward of their next work, perform in real time coverages and listen to the conversations of the network.

Refferences:

  1. Microblogging. (2011, November 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:19, November 30, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Microblogging&oldid=459982100
  2. Jose Luis Orihuela, Twitter y el boom del microblogging, Educar, (22-November-2007) . Retrieved  November 17, 2011, from http://portal.educ.ar/debates/educacionytic/super-sitios/twitter-y-el-boom-del-microblo.php
  3.  Juan Diego Polo, ¿Qué es Twitter?, WwwhatsNew, (12-October-2009). Retrieved November 16, 2011, from http://wwwhatsnew.com/2009/11/12/%C2%BFque-es-twitter/
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