I am a 30-year-old guy, and I do not use Twitter. Actually, I do not text either. I do not care what you are doing unless I happen to be your boss and I suspect you waste a lot your work time on Digg, Orkut and of course, twittering with other people. Therefore, I have had enough of twittering; let us get back to work now.
Unlike Pramit RedMonk makes $$$ blogging, at least indirectly, (blogs are the most powerful consulting practice marketing tool ever devised), so its natural for us to look at other related toolsets and methods.
Library Stuff put me alongside a comment from an MSNBC article, Twitter Nation: Nobody cares what you’re doing, which argues “Twitter is always on, always looked at, and at a 140 character limit, doesn’t have the capacity to be either deep or meaningful.”
That is one of the weirdest anti-Twitter themes to my mind: the idea that 140 characters can’t convey meaning. If that isn’t evidence of the verbosity of our culture I don’t know what is. How many words wasted on Paris Hilton? Indeed. I would rather dismiss a PH reference in a 140 character missive than a five page article.
“I love you” is one of the most powerful statements anyone can make. 10 characters
“more” – when my son says that its certainly meaningful to me. 4 characters
As an ex-journalist trained in the English manner I might argue the other way: if you can’t say it in 140 characters its not meaningful. The pyramid style of reporting begins with a topline that talks to the who, what, where, when and why.
American journalism however tends to use what Wikipedia calls the “anecdotal lead,” which begins the story with an eye-catching tale rather than the central facts.
Lets go back to pyramid style and Wikipedia, though, which cites this example of pyramid style reporting:
This evening at about 9:30 p.m. at Ford’s Theatre, the President, while sitting in his private box with Mrs. Lincoln, Mrs. Harris and Major Rathburn, was shot by an assassin, who suddenly entered the box and approached behind the President.
The assassin then leaped upon the stage, brandishing a large dagger or knife, and made his escape in the rear of the theatre.
The pistol ball entered the back of the President’s head and penetrated nearly through the head. The wound is mortal.
The President has been insensible ever since it was inflicted, and is now dying.
To my eyes the first line is still too verbose for a strong opening. I think you could just say this:
That line twitters nicely (18 characters still available), and I think you’ll also find that plenty of information has been conveyed. Vote for brevity. Vote for Twitter. It may not be what you think.
“I’m sometimes frustrated by the long stories,” Rupert Murdoch says about the Wall Street Journal.”
Yeah that will be those anecdotal intros. Perhaps Rupert will get the Wall Street Journal reporters twittering in order to teach them brevity….