Monday, June 30, 2008
Microblogging: Quick Stories and Updates
The idea of trying to get anything written down that has value was the main question I reflected on when introduced to the idea of microblogging. The constraints just seemed too high, and even close friends and family scoffed the restrictive nature of the approach and its use. The predominant micro blogging platform that I was originally introduced to was Twitter.
I use Twitter on occasion and I do follow a few people on it as well. Tacomachickadee, Erik Hanberg and the News Tribune are some of those I am following. My own updates appear on the sidebar of this page. That being said, for the most part it is used when I am curious about the technology rather than it being a useful part of my communication toolset.
I’m not alone in wondering why one would use a service limited to only 140 character entries at a time, and the question that comes up with some degree of frequency. Whether in the social context of the Twitter outburst at SXSW or an academic white paper on why we twitter, we are still talking about why we are talking in this fashion.
But the more I use it, especially within the structure of another application, the more I like it.
The two recent examples of web site service applications that leverage microblogging that have been profiled here are Jott and Quillpill.
The value of Jott is the easiest for me to imagine and provide examples for. I just haven’t used it that much at this juncture. When I get a new cell phone, one that doesn’t fail me half the time, I can see making it part of my strategy for personal reminders and organization. Napster on the other hand, has already made good use of the tool and gives it a positive recommendation.
Quillpill, which I wrote about two weeks ago, would seem like the least likely to get my long term attention, but surprisingly this is not the case. First, it is in beta, so there are not a great number of features that can be used to leverage what it being produced from the short length entries. Second, it is very focused on a certain use, which is to create written works such as books, stories, poems.
As it stands though, that is the tool that I have had to most fun with. As with any technology application, it all depends on what you are applying it for. In this case, I chose to test it out recording thoughts about a local grassroots art event. After successfully using it once, I felt it would lend itself to creating simple verse, so I recorded the next week’s event as well, this time as a poem.
It was interesting to me in that the length of the poem would be dictated by how many entries I was moved to provide, and the storyline would be dictated by real events, either happening online or at the chalk art challenge itself.
It easily stands as the most fun I have had with a microblogging tool. Perhaps it is not the most useful, which will likely remain Jott, but certainly one that resulted in my most valued by product, which is the recap of Chalk Challenge XII (in verse).
Hopefully more features are forthcoming. For about two days, I was able to see how many readers I had, but then it disappeared. I hope it returns soon along with exporting tools and searching capabilities.
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