How Is Twitter Helping or Hurting You and Your Blog?
At more and more conferences, Twitter is becoming the conversation of choice. Instead of live blogging, people are twittering live reports from conferences, as well as chatting among themselves as if Twitter were a live chat or instant message service.
Twitter is easy. It’s accessible from the web and cell phones. Anyone can do it. You just have to stay within the 140 character limit.
People are adding Twitter to their blogs, integrating their tweets into the blog’s sidebar, as well as tweets from others.
So how is this helping or hurting your blog?
How Twitter Helps Your Blog
Twitter helps many by directing the masses towards specific information, such as a new blog post or an old one that applies to a specific inquiry.
Twitter helps with blog research, since you can ask just about anyone anywhere about anything and often get an answer that helps you write your blog post.
Many Twitter comments are becoming inspiration for blog posts, helping bloggers find something to write about.
As a straight communications and networking tool, Twitter helps you monitor industry information from niche bloggers and experts. It helps you learn more about your area of expertise as well as new avenues that can help you blog better and improve your business.
You can also make strong connections and find guest bloggers and business relationships that may reflect improvements and news on your blog.
There are many ways Twitter can help the blogger, so how can it hurt?
How Twitter Hurts Your Blog
Twitter can hurt your blog the most because Twitter is becoming a replacement for blogs.
I don’t think that Twitters will ever truly replace the blog as a form of searchable, viable bodies of work, especially with the current 140 character limit, but it is taking energy away from your blogs.
Many bloggers aren’t blogging as much as they used to as they have found a way to say what they need on Twitter. The rush to be the first to blog the news is not as important as being the first to Twitter the news.
Twitter can be a major time suck, pulling you away from the time you would normally spend working on developing content for your blog, responding to comments on your blog, and commenting on other blogs. Why bother with the blog conversation when it’s defintely more exciting to join the Twitter conversation.
When you choose to Twitter rather than blog, and your readers aren’t tracking you on Twitter, who wins? Who loses?
Don’t forget your blog readers. Continue to support your blog. Continue to provide service to them. You can’t put pictures on Twitter. You can’t upload videos or podcasts. Twitter isn’t the end all and be all of online communication.
Think of your blog as your virtual business card and resume. It serves as a placeholder in your personal and professional life that showcases your talents and skills. Communicate through all the various online social media and networking tools, but make sure that your main showcase, the centerpiece around which everything else should revolve, still gets the attention it deserves, and that it still speaks well for you.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.
For me twitter is more of helping me as a blogger. I can get latest information from Tweeter that I can share to my blog. I still believe that Blogs has a better information than twitter.
You may be interested on the post I made last week : My Twitter Experience
If it’s really worth saying, I don’t think it can be said in 140 characters. Lorelle couldn’t have written this post on Twitter!
Lorelle, I’d agree with your analysis here – twitter can bring a lot of blog benefits, but shouldn’t be at the expense of your blog which is “virtual business card and resume”
The other benefit I’d add – it allows you to post links and explore ideas that are a little off topic, which means it becomes easier to keep your blog focused on its core purpose.
BTW can we find you on Twitter? :-)
I think having a set goal/vision for your blog helps keep it on track; there’s no reason why you cannot first tweet about something… and then write a compelling followup on your blog.
Blog posts endure, tweets do not.
Up until SOBCon08, I shied away from signing up with Twitter, not seeing the benefits. Mostly saw it as a waste of time. Until I went to SOBCon08. That’s when I decided to give it a shot.
Surprisingly enough, I found it to be of help with traffic to my blog and as a way of staying in touch with others as long as I don’t let it dominate my day.
I don’t think Twitter will ever replace blogs but I can see your point about how it could swing that way in some way. Blogs are more in depth with content that will last forever while Twitter does not. My 2 cents.
Twitter eats away my blogging time. I am restricting my usage.
It’s funny I don’t look at them as competing for my time or as competition for my blog. Then again I don’t blog professionally.
I use twitter much like I used IRC earlier in life. When I have some time I’m there, and I converse, I look for ideas, or technical help. It’s content that never would’ve shown up on my blog.
On my blog I’m either witting essays on tech and religion; goofing around on Sci-FI or publishing some code. In the old days I managed 4 blogs and have consolidated it to one with a strong delineation of categories.
The types of content aren’t taht compatible. And where I’m always backing up my tweets into my blog for historical reasons, it’s something on the side, not part of the blog.
Twitter is for quick hits. A blog is for longer form communication. And that makes Twitter an excellent way to reduce the lazysphere.
Found a interesting news story, cool new site or tool and want to spread the word? Unless you have a unique perspective on the information, an interesting opinion of the site or a review of that tool then isn’t a Twitter really the best way of letting your social net know about it rather than what would basically be a “me too” blog post?
I find that Twittering keeps my blog posts targeted and useful though they may be less frequent. I’d say that’s for the better.
twitter is like a sift, if i tweet it and stil feel i have more to say, I blog it.