What is Microblogging?

R. Kayne

Microblogging is a networking service that allows mobile users of cell phones and other Internet connected devices to stay abreast of activities within a group by receiving frequent published updates, typically of 140 characters or less. Text messages are uploaded to a microblogging service such as Twitter, Jaiku and others, then distributed to group members. All parties subscribed in the targeted group are instantly notified of the microblog, enabling groups to keep tabs on one another’s activities in real time. A Microblog can also be public, with arbitrary subscribers joining and dropping microblogs at will.

Some people like to post pictures of what they are eating in microblogs.
Some people like to post pictures of what they are eating in microblogs.

Like any other Internet tool, microblogging can be utilized for a number of purposes. While many are social, more pragmatic uses including business applications, also apply.

Teens often use microblogging services to stay connected with friends.
Teens often use microblogging services to stay connected with friends.

Teens can use microblogging as a social service to see what their friends are up to, scout out parties, or to simply stay linked for the fun of it while engaging in every day activities like school, shopping and studies. Student officers might also create microblogs for class committees to keep abreast of progress on project assignments.

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Microblogging allows writers to make quick updates in between other activities.
Microblogging allows writers to make quick updates in between other activities.

It’s not only students who can benefit from this modernized, improved version of the telephone tree. Faculty might also find uses for microblogging. For example, when preparing for performances, band and drama teachers could use microblogs to network participating students for improved organizational efficiency. The quick nature of microblogs makes it a good management tool when the success of a project relies on many different people pulling together in a timely fashion.

Emoticons may be used in microblogs to convey simple emotions.
Emoticons may be used in microblogs to convey simple emotions.

Businesses can also use this tool for gathering and disseminating bullet-type information to the right parties, such as from a sales conference or client meeting. Court reporters can use microblogging to relay updates to producers and anchors in one fell swoop, and politicians can keep in touch with staff. Tour staff such as roadies, sound engineers and drivers could all benefit from being connected via a microblog that would keep everyone with the tour abreast of problems as they arise and resources at hand. By using a microblog one hand always knows what the other is doing.

Someone might use a microblog to help them keep track of fitness goals.
Someone might use a microblog to help them keep track of fitness goals.

Another use of microblogging involves boosting site traffic. A popular website blogger might announce updates or teasers to his or her blog through a microblog. An embedded link can take readers directly to the site.

A person may use a microblog to give quick updates about their work or personal life.
A person may use a microblog to give quick updates about their work or personal life.

While many question the need for yet another way to stay connected, over 100 microblog services reportedly exist as of Spring 2008, with the trend headed upward. Before subscribing to the microblog world, be sure your cell phone plan will not put you in the poor house for extended text messaging. Some plans offer monthly flat rates for unlimited texting, while others charge up to $0.15 US Dollars per message sent or received. In many cases a monthly cell phone plan comes with a limited number of “free” texting, with extra messages driving up the bill.

Some plans have unlimited texting for microblogs.
Some plans have unlimited texting for microblogs.
Teens can use microblogging to track what their friends are up to.
Teens can use microblogging to track what their friends are up to.
Microblogging allows text messages to be upload to certain communication websites.
Microblogging allows text messages to be upload to certain communication websites.

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Discussion Comments

anon925895

Microblogging is a web service that allows the subscriber to broadcast short messages to other subscribers of the service. Although most microblog broadcasts are posted as text, some microblogging services allow video or audio posts.

anon133856

Has anyone heard of twiticles for microblogging? I started using it for my blog and it seems pretty easy. I used the "mirroring" ap they had which automatically imports my rss feed. Any feedback?

anon115226

I like this concept. I visited your blog for the first time and am your fan. Keep posting as I am going to come to read it every day.

anon108533

There are also microblogging services that let users post their opinions on topics while simultaneously creating networks.

anon68555

this article is good.

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