Maybe this blog isn’t fast enough, or out of control enough? Maybe it’s too big a piece?

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Upside Down World, originally uploaded by Cesar R..

So I was intuitively, or perhaps temperamentally, on the side of Stephen and Darren when it came to Twitter, but reading posts by so many other friends, especially Bryan’s, I felt I needed to try it for myself. So far, I’m surprised how much I dig the feeling… kind of a hybrid between IM, goofy fun micro-blogposting, and a discussion board in which I decide who to follow. We’ll see if the distraction factor overrides other considerations, but so far it’s been a gas.

So via my Twitter feed, I learn that Chris has just posted on something I’d never heard of before (quoting entire short post, hoping he’ll stretch notion of fair use for me):

OK, let me see if I get this– a Tumblog (the kind of thing easily created with the very-hip-right-now Tumblr service) is essentially a kind of online commonplace book for people with short attention spans?

Seriously: a regular “old” blog for regular posts with text and commentary, a Tumblog for cool stuff sans comments and text, a social bookmark service like for linklogging, and Twitter for micro/nano blogging with 140 characters of text or less?

Is it any surprise that even tech-savvy folks are starting to feel stretched thin?

And I had the same first reaction. I groaned when I read his post. But when I followed the links, and saw a few Tumblogs (hate the term, but I usually hate every new Web 2.0 word at first) I found I kind of enjoyed them — they felt like groovier, stripped-down blogs, reminded me of the early days — which for me is the distant year 2001.

Then this morning our regular departmental meeting was unexpectedly canceled (an emergency preparedness expert might have had some kind of emergency and wasn’t prepared), and I found myself at a table with a few free moments with our young tech staff, who I don’t spend nearly enough time talking with. As it happens, Joe was playing with his Tumblr site — I hadn’t realised how easy it was to splice in content from his blog, his Flickr feed (he has it set so only items tagged with “tumblr” go through), his Twitter feed, and his Last.FM feed of events he’s attending (see you at the LCD Soundsystem show dude – woo-hoo!). He could also have integrated his 30 Boxes calendar, but decided against it for privacy reasons.

Joe describes his Tumblr site as “like SuprGlu except I can update it with quick posts too.” The interface for posting to Tumblr is very fast, very simple, and quite elegant. Suddenly I began to get it. Suddenly my old blog started to feel as clunky, creaky and tired as I do much of the time. Suddenly my head began to spin…

About Brian

I am a Strategist and Discoordinator with UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. My main blogging space is Abject Learning, and I sporadically update a short bio with publications and presentations over there as well...
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8 Responses to Maybe this blog isn’t fast enough, or out of control enough? Maybe it’s too big a piece?

  1. Hi Brian – the notion of persistent presence is a bit intoxicating. Maybe only a few people care about what I’m doing right now (often, I don’t even care). But twitter, tublr and ilk provide a means of hyper connectivity. The smallness of the conversation sometimes blurs the implications. If you are beset with random boredom, spend a few minutes on . It combines twitter with google maps – and presents an interesting global conversation. I may be abnormal, but my first encounter was “wow, we’re having small conversations on a global scale”. kinda neat…

  2. Scott Leslie says:

    Sign me up on the “I don’t get this and don’t thin it is that interesting” roster. I can see how this might be useful for small groups, but really, between your blog feed, your delicious links and your flickr photos, which I can consume already very easily where I want, I get enough of you, thanks very much. Just kidding. But seriously, if blogs were thought of as “cat journals,” this is solipsistic loggorhea at its worse. umm, new twitter entry – updating comment on Brian’s post … now.

  3. Brian says:

    George, I care, but you’re a tough dude to keep up with!

    Thanks for the reminder on Twittervision — fun.

    And I wish I had finally met you at the ELI event — I had thought I was going to be there. Maybe we can revise that dropped idea of a Canadian railroad based Edublogger express?

  4. Chris L says:

    You’re going to end up selling me on the idea if you’re not careful!

    I’m jealous about the LCD Soundsystem show, btw!

  5. Brian says:

    Scott — five days ago I might have written something similar. Maybe I’ll drop it in a week… but so far I’ve had fun, and think Twitter has some interesting properties. There’s no shortage of other things to pay attention to… Then again, your characterization of the banal Twitter entry (and obviously there are plenty of those) is the rhetorical equivalent of the longtime dismissal of weblogs as cat diaries (plenty of those too).

    To me, the emergence of these tools suggests a faster, lighter, more immediate and as George notes persistent presence for digital personal publishing. Some people will gravitate to that, others will retreat, most will incorporate whatever bits that seem useful and compelling to them.

    Chris — I’ve heard too often how good LCD was the last time they were in Vancouver (I was out of town), it should be a fun night. Sorry you won’t be able to… I would guess that opportunities to see bands would be a downside of where you live.

  6. Alan says:

    Twitter seems stupid, until something small and good happens. It’s sort of a slightly out of synch party line, and you can tap in and be very active… there’s some sort of abject prose about writing intriguing short posts.

    Or as other assert, a total waste of tiny bits of time.

    I had set up a tumblog and forgot about it – The nice thing, if you connect your twitter feed is getting pretty much a twitter transcript if you want to scan the tweets.

    Likewise, you can yank stuff into a calendar format at 30boxes –

    Not really sure how to use this stuff, but the notion that it can pull content in from multiple sources and update dynamically is singing my song.

  7. Brian says:

    Gardner, as you often do you render me speechless — for the rest of you, click this link to his response:

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