Twitter: Destroyer of Blogs?

Yesterday I was reading Keeva’s post on why people blog and why they subscribe to blogs. Throughout the comments I noticed a trend. It seems that rather than looking primarily for guides and class information (though those things are important too) people subscribe to blogs that exhibit personality. People are extremely interested in posts that talk about personal experiences and opinions and generate discussion. That’s why bloggers like Larísa and Tam enjoy such a following.

Looking through my own post history, I’ve written very few of these personal-type posts in the last few months. I’ve been writing a fair bit, but almost all my posts have been healing guides or analysis of logs and add-ons. I’m quite happy with them to tell the truth, but they aren’t exactly bursting with personality. I haven’t even posted a rant since the middle of November.

What has happened in the last few months that could change my blogging habits and turn me into a soulless automaton that spits out post after post filled with dry, instructional information and wowhead links with nary a hint of personal feelings or opinion?

Twitter happened.

After years of mocking Twitter as a fad and its user group as the worst kind of over-sharers with the attention spans of a gnat, I jumped on the bandwagon. I started off slow. I mostly just lurked around and read what other people had to say. Then I discovered that I could use it to promote by blog posts, and started responding to others. Now I’m a full-fledged user with 496 tweets under my belt…497 (my guildmate just said the funniest thing)…498 (my god, do bracers never drop!?).

Something funny happen in a raid? Did a PuG do something unbelievably stupid? Have I read something that made me excited/sad/angry? Why write a whole post about it when I share it on Twitter in 140 characters or less? It’s so much less work!

Last night I had an interesting raid on my priest. I did some silly things, people stood in fires, I had all kinds of pent up frustration by the end of the night. I could have written a post about it. Whether it be a rant, sharing lessons learned or a plea for some advice from readers, it could have been a half-decent post that sparked some discussion. Instead, I tweeted.

I accidentally Life Gripped the tank on Halfus. Hahaha

Riveting stuff right there.

Earlier this week I read a post by another resto druid sharing the opinion that Tree of Life was a poor talent and not worth the cost (1 point!). I was incensed. Here was someone who is apparently a resource for the resto druid community giving awful advice and terrible rationalizations for it. I wanted to write a response post. I should have at least written a scathing comment. Instead, I tweeted.

I cant tell if a post telling people ToL isn’t worth one talent point is trolling or not.

Do I even justify the post by commenting on it?

Amount of discussion generated: zero.

For the last couple weeks I’ve been complaining (on Twitter) that I have nothing to post about. It’s not true, I have a lot of topics I could write about, I have experienced a lot of things in-game that I could share…but instead I tweet.

I clearly need help.

The Fine Print: The argument could be made that my lack of interesting posts is due to the fact that between raiding in two guilds, analyzing logs, analyzing armoury profiles and planning my wedding I just don’t have the time or energy to properly formulate posts with personal thoughts and opinions, but that is poppycock. Haha, I said poppycock.

24 responses to “Twitter: Destroyer of Blogs?

  1. Haha, as someone who just joined Twitter less than a week ago, love this post!

    But, I will definitely need to watch out and make sure not to fall in the same trap.

    RT for #truth 🙂
    Janyaa recently posted..New Header!

    • Some people manage to be quite prolific on Twitter and still continue to publish a lot of interesting, opinion based posts, but I don’t seem to be one of them.

      Welcome to Twitter!

  2. What you say has a lot of truth to it! But there’s also the possibility of immediate reaction to a personal anecdote/story on Twitter, sparking a real-time conversation rather than a “comment conversation” on a blog post.

    And if it makes you feel any better, I did chuckle yesterday about your Life Gripping the tank on Halfus. 😉
    Rades recently posted..Does raiding in PVP gear indicate a bad player

    • Twitter conversations make me kind of uncomfortable. Getting quick answers to questions is fantastic, but being privy to entire conversations between friends/guildmates makes me feel like a bit of a creeper. That’s probably just me though.

  3. That’s a very interesting point! Perhaps when I do play, I should stop tweeting about stuff and save these potential tweets and drafts, and mix them in with screenies, and there we have bloggage.

    PS. I hadn’t checked out your blog since the new design! Looks very nice 😀
    Jaedia recently posted..The Possibly Beginning of the End

    • Thanks Jaedia!

      If tweeting about things is keeping you from blogging about them later, I think that’s a good idea. It all depends on you. When I put something on Twitter, I often think “well, I’ve already addressed that, no need to write anymore”, so potential blog topics are lost. Some people seem to do just fine at writing in both mediums.

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  5. This is a really great post, Jasyla.

    I have to say that I can’t relate to feeling Twitter is to blame, per se. My problem is that I have ideas, but I don’t feel there’s enough substance there to warrant a full blown post. Like this morning, I mused about wanting to possibly stack more haste instead of mastery, because I felt like my spells were coming out too slow.

    I’m not even sure how I could turn that into an entire post. I think we also get derailed by our public personas and by our need to feel like we’re writing for other people. When we write guides or informative posts, we’re often times not doing it for ourselves. I know how to use Chakra – half the priest population doesn’t. I do what I do to help them and make priests, the class I currently love better. I don’t mean to sound like a martyr or bleeding heart, but it’s true.

    I think about smaller posts that I could do, like about the haste one and immediately I think “What is useful about this?” “Who would want to read this?” instead of thinking that I should be doing it for myself.

    Somewhere down the line I lost sight of that and it seems like I’m not the only one. Hopefully we can bring ourselves to get back to why we’re really doing this and become happier and more inspired in the process.

    Oestrus recently posted..1-24-11 Update

    • Thank you Oestrus!

      I can certainly empathize with being derailed by public personas. As a blog writer it feels like it’s your job to educate and/or entertain. However, you should get as much out of your blog as you put into it. Go ahead and write the smaller posts that you’re less sure about. There will always be people out there who will share their thoughts on the topic and you might learn something or get some new ideas.

      • I think part of the issue (and I mean no disrespect to the people in question, by saying this) is that I write for other people’s blogs and they do have certain small preferences that they would prefer I stay in line with. If I were to write full time for myself, maybe I could indulge in those posts that don’t take up too much space and those ones that could be considered more “fluff.”

        But at the same time, I fear by going solo again that I would have access to nearly the audience that I would if I were grouped up with someone. That’s a whole different issue, entirely.

        Oestrus recently posted..1-24-11 Update

  6. I don’t think Twitter destroys blogs. My tweets (however few and far between they are) are on topics of immediate reaction. My blog posts (even fewer and farther between) are on bigger topics, things I’ve thought about for a while. Different media for different things.
    Lyraat recently posted..Hunter 359 loot list- Stranglethorn- Kara

    • My post title may have been a touch on the dramatic side 😛

      Clearly, Twitter hasn’t destroyed my blog either, but I do think it has subtly changed the types of things I blog about, or how frequently I blog about them.

  7. Actually Tam has fallen for the twitter thing now so I’m probably the last non-twittering blogger still standing. Admittedly he still blogs though…. Which contracits those theories about twitterers stopping to blog…
    I have had the same thoughts as you and wrote a rant almost two years ago about how I fear that twitter might have an impact on the blogging community.

    I’m not sure I was right though, I must admit. The biggest effect I see about twitter/non twitter iis that I as a non-twitter have the feeling that I’m drifting away a little from the blogosphere, becoming more isolated. That since I’m not twittering I’m not “there” in the center, where all the cool people are, interacting, networking and scratching each other backs, cracking one-liner after one-liner. Giggling at each other, loving each other, becoming friends.

    My conclusion is that if you’re someone who really wants to market your blog, if you think it’s important to pull a lot of traffic, clicks, linklove, comments etc or if you’re really a “social” kind of person you’d better go twittring. However, those things aren’t my main motivators to blog. So if I’d be on twitter it would be because I would enjoy it. But I think I’m a bit too much of a geek to really like it. Not fun enough, not enough of party-talent I think. But if you enjoy it, by all means go ahead!

    However as a blog reader I would of course appreciate if you at least reflect over the stuff you twitter once in a while and see if you couldn’t save a few of those one-liners for some more substantial, personal blogging. More than 140 chars.

    • There are still a few bloggers not on Twitter.

      Twitter certainly hasn’t stopped me from blogging, but it has prevented me from writing about certain topics on occasion. I feel like if I put something on Twitter then blog about it later that I’m being repetitive. Some people manage to do both very well, but I need to work on striking a balance.

    • Woe to me – yes, I succumbed. To be honest I see Twitter less as a marketing opportunity (but then I’m far too English for marketing anyway!) but as a conversation. I have however picked up some nice links from there. I will confess I do enjoy it though – although I don’t think I’m natural user. Some people really do blossom and thrive on Twitter.

      I don’t want to be a Twitter zealot but you would be very welcome if you joined I’m sure (especially by me) but equally although it can feel like you’re drifting away from the blogosphere if you’re not on Twitter having joined Twitter I can confirm that ain’t true. You’ll always have you place in the blogosphere 🙂

      I think being naturally longwinded helps differentiate twitter from blogging – the things I say on twitter I couldn’t say on the blog and vice versa.

  8. Poppycock!

    As long as you’re enjoying it, nothing wrong there.

    Sure, office workers would love more blog posts, but we can’t cater only to the needs of the bored. End of Wrath + beginning of Cata make for very busy times… At least twitter provides you a quick outlet for your thoughts, which infinitely better than nothing at all. 140 chats > 0 chars.


  9. Great post, Jasyla… and something that has occurred to me as well. I joined twitter about a week and a half ago and I’ve been struggling with blog posts ever since. It’s weird, but it seems that as soon as you do your first tweet, suddenly it becomes completely impossible to articulate any idea in more than 140 characters.

    Also, when I talking to my wife I want to refer to her by saying “@Jen”, but I refrain because she’d punch me.

    I wonder, though, if joining twitter is mere coincidence for my recent struggles. My blog is at the delicate 2 month stage where authors start losing the initial zeal they had when first starting. Frankly speaking, I’m so new at this whole blogging and twittering thing that I really have no idea what I’m doing.

    Interestingly, my last post dealt with a similar topic. There seems to be a lot of this going around.
    Fannon recently posted..Blogservations- Random Thoughts on Writing and Warcraft

    • Thanks Fannon. Haha, that’s funny that you want to call your wife @Jen 😛 My soon-to-be hubby mocks me whenever he sees I’m on Twitter.

      I’ve just subscribed to your blog. Looks like you’re well on your way to finding your blogging comfort zone.

  10. The trick is to use twitter when you want to express something but know it would make for a boring and self-indulgent post.

    Also, not everyone reads twitter. You can be repetitive. Even if I follow you on twitter (I probably do, but it’s possible I missed the boat on that one), I may not have seen the twit. After all, there are entire DAYS when I don’t login to twitter, and when I do login, I only go back like 2 hours. So you may THINK you’ve exhausted your topic, but it’s totally fine to still blog about it even if you mentioned it on twitter.

    Now if you actually CAN make your entire point in 140 chars, that’s probably a sign that it would have been a lame post anyway.
    Zelmaru recently posted..500 Errors on the Blog

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  12. Jasyla,

    Great post! Though I realize it is a tad older, it popped up on the related links and I wanted to comment that I agree with this post in a lot of ways. I just joined the Twitter community on Friday, and since then I have noticed a big change in my time in front of the computer.

    Just sitting working on the post I am writing right now, I keep noticing the numbers on the Twitter tab going up and wanting to check it. >< Hence why I am currently making a comment on your blog instead of working on the post I was writing for mine. lol

    Perhaps it is not so much Twitter as my own "Oooh, shiny!" tendencies.

    Hmm… Either way, thanks for posting something to make me think, those are the best blogs!

    ~ Effy
    Effraeti recently posted..A Community of Support

    • Thanks Effy.

      Since I wrote this I’ve mostly been able to balance my Twitter updates with actual posts, but occasionally it does still distract me from doing other things.