I’m a fan of microblogging. I’m using the term here to refer to twitter, facebook statuses, and all the other similar services that are available.

I like the way microblogging provides us with a medium to appreciate the small things in life alongside the grand. I like the way it makes us think simply and express those thoughts concisely.

Because I have a few values invested in microblogging it also means I have a few quibbles with it’s users, or rather some of their content.

I like microblogging because it’s bite-sized chunks of interestingness, I dislike it when it’s bite-sized chunks of meaninglessness.

Example: “argh so angry!” This tells us one’s emotional state, nothing more.

Improvement: “angry about being blamed for missing stapler.”

I also dislike song lyrics as status updates. Yes I know you’re listening to the song or the lyrics particularly reflect your current state, but because they’re words someone else wrote and lots of people know, it tells me nothing new. I have a kind of exception for this though in that I don’t mind lyrics modified.

Example: “We all live in a yellow submarine!” – you like the beatles, hooray. You might be listening to them right now, we can’t be sure.

Improvement: “Ashton lives in the communal yellow submarine.” – an interesting proposition that piques curiosity.

Last but not least is the non-microbloggers dismissal of microblogging: Inanity. This only happens when someone feels they have some kind of responsability or need to post things. Under normal circumstances you’re not going to post every time you poop but only in circumstances where pooping is particularly eventful. However if you feel a compulsive need to post or think people want you to post, then your standards of “what’s interesting” will drop very quickly. Rule of thumb here: read what you are about to post before posting it and ask “does everyone already know/assume this?”

Example: “Brushed my teeth and went to bed.”

Improvement: “Nearly swallowed my toothbrush from fatigue, glad to be getting to bed.”

So I guess that’s my handy guide to better microblogging. You, too, can help alleviate the world’s collective boredom.


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