Twitter – The Latest Craze in Micro-Blogging

In this time of minuscule attention span, writing and reading long blog articles are sure to lose popularity. After all the “text messaging” generation does not want to spend hours reading long drawn blog essays. Hence “micro-blogging” is the rave of the day and undoubtedly, the king of micro blogging is “Twitter”. The world blog comes from “Web Logs”, which implies that blogs are essentially online logs of the blogger ramblings, sort of like a diary or online journal.

Twitter does just that, it allows users to write snippets (140 characters or less) of any message that you want to share with your friends of the world, and they get logged onto your home page. But the story does not end here. If you have a bunch of friends who are interested in you, who want to know what you are up to, who would like to “follow you”, they can link up with your “Tweets” and receive an update whenever you post something through tweeter. Check out any tweeter page to figure out what I am talking about swertres hearing today. For example, if you would like to follow xyz, just click the link “follow”. You will of course have to sign up with Twitter before you can follow somebody.

People who are familiar with Orkut scrapping or Facebook wall writing or status update should get the idea, except on Twitter you are doing a one-to-many messaging, rather than one-on-one with global access email1&1 com. Besides individuals, many corporations, news organizations, radio stations, all have twitter accounts and you can follow any one you like. Corporations use Twitter as a marketing tool.

News organization use it to send out their latest breaking news snippets. Individuals use it to stay connected. The possibilities are endless. You can send tweets or received tweets from your mobile phones. You can have desktop applications on your computer to receive and send tweets. And of course you can use the web site too. Once you get hooked on to it, it is hard to live without it.

The first blogs were written before the American Revolution. Although you would think from all the attention this form of communications is getting that the blog is a recent phenomenon. To the contrary, the advent of the Internet and its popularity is what fostered the blog-o-sphere, but the concept flourished hundreds of years ago.

Back in pre-revolutionary times, there were few newspapers and most of them simply reprinted articles from the London papers many months later. The popular way to learn what others thought was through personal conversations, speeches, sermons, letters and pamphlets. It was these pamphlets that were the precursor to today’s blog — independently produced, highly-opinionated, single-minded in purpose, short on content, and directed at a broad unknown audience.

There were thousands of pamphlet publishers when less then three dozen newspapers existed. By the end of the seventeen hundreds, there were nearly one hundred papers which grew to four hundred by 1810 and twelve hundred by 1835. Early publishers were politically oriented, openly backed candidates and served as a forum for party philosophies; but as papers covered more news topics, this became less of a driving force. The importance of pamphlets diminished as the papers got stronger and their numbers increased.

It took another hundred years for muckraking and sensationalism to become the thrust behind the news. As the progressive movement emerged at the beginning of the last century, from the right with Roosevelt and the left with Wilson, newspaper syndicates were formed to support or attack the changing philosophies. During and after WWII, the papers assumed the mantle of guardians of the truth. Political reporting helped cement this status while papers fought television news for credibility. Now, with newspapers losing readers, circulation and revenues, we are returning to the pamphlet type of publishing for information – only this time it’s through the magic of the Internet.

While newspaper or TV reports are not always accurate, the large organizations normally support their reporting with research. This was not the case with pamphlets then and is often not the case with blogs today. In a free society, opinions should always be welcomed, even if we don’t agree with them; but we need to carefully consider who spawns these statements and what agendas are being advanced by them. We need to know if the blog is fair in its reporting or committed to a single point-of-view. It makes sense to check out other blogs offering opposing opinions so you can intelligently weigh the information and make your own decisions.

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