I tweet a lot.
Granted, I was a late-comer to Twitter, but I fell in love with it immediately. It’s simple. It’s not cluttered, it’s real-time, and it doesn’t try to be what it isn’t (which, incidentally, are all the same reasons why I hate Facebook). I think that I love Tumblr for the same reason…it’s not a maze to navigate, it’s just a simple, inspiring stream of creative synergy.
Every morning, though, I log into Google Reader and peruse the many blogs that I follow. I read the posts, and I comment as often as time permits, although I concede that I don’t comment nearly as often as I should. If I follow your blog, then I’m a loyal reader, and I’m grateful in turn to all of the loyal readers that follow me here.
I wonder at times, though, if I’m becoming outdated in my blog habits. What I mean by that is that I what I write here is more of a traditional blog…it’s not bite-sized, it takes a few moments to read. Most of the blogs that I follow are the same. Twitter, a so-called microblog, or even Tumblr, aren’t that way…they’re more easily followed in a few spare moments here and there, while the types of blogs that are plugged into my RSS feed are the types that require 5-10 minutes each to read. That doesn’t make either better or worse, they’re just different sorts of thoughts, and I read and contribute to all three.
Still, I imagine that some of you read that last paragraph and thought something to the effect of, “Ten minutes! That’s crazy talk!” And, perhaps, in a progressively mobile world, it is.
I sometimes think of an aunt and uncle who still take the local paper where they live, and I’ve commented to them several times that the newspaper is less than one generation from extinction in its print form. Still, they read it daily, and dutifully place it in recycling afterward. I wonder if, in my blog reading habits, I’m a bit like that…insisting on continuing with something that is close to extinction (ironically, I’ve written for a few newspapers in the past).
I’ve gotten involved in some discussion here before about why I think blogging is so important, why it fills a niche, why it contributes such value to the public exchange of ideas. Yet, just this week I read another consideration of how blogging could be dying as a medium, or at least evolving into something different, just as Twitter moves to condense video lengths as they have text lengths in the interest of driving further creativity.
I really hope that this wonderful medium of blogging as it has evolved continues to walk alongside microblogs, and isn’t replaced by them. There’s something great that each can do that the other can’t, and if we let either of them go, I think that we would be losing something of great value. I would really be missing something if I was unable to consider the thoughts of those I follow, both their quick, rapid-fire thoughts as well as their longer, more considered thoughts. Both are important.
It’s good, in any case, to pause and take some time with things, and I think that’s something that traditional blogs force us to do when we read them, just as a book does, but on a smaller scale.
And slowing down is always, always a good thing in an environment that is constantly speeding up.
Ten minutes really shouldn’t sound so crazy.