THOSE WHO WATCH Irish bloggers have noticed a decrease in the web page activity by the most active writers. The drop in page activity often means some of the most active web writers have started microblogs. Business communicators and marketers should read on. This is not about navel gazing. This is about the emergence of micromedia, now well into its second year of existence.
Microblogging involves posting short thoughts and minimal content to a personal page, perhaps using an instant messaging service, a form on a web site or a text message sent from a mobile phone. The messages appear online, often at popular sites such as Twitter, Jaiku or Pownce. Their use reflects a respect for brevity, short attention spans and group texting.
Microblogs thrive because they exist only because their authors know how to communicate in small blocks of text. Most messages extend no more than 140 characters. They can be sent from computer keyboards or from mobile phones to dedicated text numbers where they instantly appear on web-based microblogs. Because these microblogs use newsfeeds, people can subscribe to dozens of microblogs and flick through hundreds of comments as fast as reading the subject headings of email. In fact, you can pull microblog content directly on your phone as text messages. You need to be careful with that approach because some Irish microbloggers have the gift of text-babble which means they create a lot of white noise.
Business communicators who have watched the emergence of microblogs have also seen two corresponding activities. First, microblogs take the wind out of regular blogging. If you can connect one thought to a community of readers by typing a well-phrased string of text, why write paragraphs on a blog? Second, after a few months of microblogging, attention to email starts to slide. People have to juggle the real world—phone calls at work, attending family occasions, following an exercise routine—and in the real world, brevity rules.
Community information, first seen through blogging and now evident in moments shared while scrolling through pages on Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, social bookmarks on del.icio.us, playlists with Last.fm and minifeeds on Facebook have elevated shared experiences to a prominent place on the internet. Jyri Engestrom, Jaiku’s founder, explains the social significance of microblogging in an excellent video stored on several video-sharing sites. Hundreds watched the Irish election count through the eyes of several Irish microbloggers who reported on ballots being tabulated in parish halls around the country. The moment a compelling YouTube hits the internet, some Irish microblogger will mention it, triggering a tsunami of attention as fast as a call to Liveline.
Those with Nokia Series 60 phones can use special applications like Jaiku Mobile to comment directly back to microblogged texts and since many of the newer Nokia phones use WiFi, it means having a free way to send and receive texts. Just like text messaging, short microblogged content invites people to quickly respond to interesting thoughts.
Business communicators have started watching Irish activities unfolding through the use of microblogs. Two early communities, the Irish OpenCoffee group and the planning committee for Podcamp Ireland, use totally transparent organising sessions with Jaiku microblogs. You can watch those activities by searching the “channels” on Jaiku.com or you can subscribe to the channel through a news reader, such as Google Reader.
Micromedia incorporates microblogs, photostreams, music playlists and other electronic compilations that give people avenues for lifestreaming. Some lifestreams incorporate the unabashedly banal. Others appear as brash attempts by people to brand themselves as experts. Trust your judgment and follow those you think deserve your time. I keep my personal micromedia trimmed to a point where no more than a single A4 page of double-spaced content generates every hour.
I can sense the marketers in the wings of this cultural development. I believe the rise of Irish micromedia means the subsequent decline of Irish blogging. But before Ryan Turbridy enjoys a gleeful smirk, mainstream journalists should take a quick pulse of the Irish micromedia community. There are dynamic groups in colleges throughout the country, prosumers chatting about products on the market and alert listeners who are slicing apart commentary, news and announcements as they roll into the public space. Every mainsteam media conglomerate uses text messaging. No big Irish media player uses micromedia. The audience knows the technology, carries the receiver in pockets and purses and is waiting to be cultivated.
Alexia Golez -- "Twitter is Butchering My Blog Creativity"