Twitter, Tweetstorms, and futility


I’m pretty active on Twitter.

There’s a lifetime supply of worthless noise on there, but it’s also a powerful tool for organizing, connecting, and learning. Twitter is transforming how my generation interacts with brands and influencers, and it’s empowering citizen journalists to wrest control from the mainstream media.

Twitter is also seductive for sharing ideas that would otherwise make it into blog posts. Tweetstorms are a series of tweets that are “connected” in a way that allows people to see the thread. This makes it even easier to share a stream of consciousness, and permits interactions (think: comments) on each one.

The trouble with Twitter being used like this is that the information is essentially ephemeral—there’s very little long-term utility. If you take the time to share your thoughts on a topic in a series of tweets, there’s no easy way to preserve this in a way that makes it a) accessible by others later and b) accessible elsewhere (off Twitter).

The benefit of a blog post of course is that it has a URL that persists. Here’s a blog post I wrote in 2009 that I found in about four seconds. Try finding a tweet from 2009. I’ll wait.

I see mountains of content every day that could, with very little effort, be turned into blog posts that live on forever. It would be futile for me to try and convince Twitter influencers to move their content into blog posts, but it’s certainly possible to build tools that facilitate this process.

So as soon as someone wires me $150K…