A time and a place for everything
In this day and age, personal publishing has taken off, you see this in the many people that maintain (or start) a blog, something that has been happening for a while now and the growth of which is over its top, they say. More different, or simular things are popping up now, things like twitter and tumblr.
As the possibilities grow, which will you choose, you can choose to take 'm all on, but to what purpose and in what time. I don't know about you, but for me there are just to few hours in a day. The time I spend online for me is not strictly for pleasure, but also for business purposes. So I try and do stuff as efficiently as possible.
Sure, I can choose to take on everything, but will I have something to tell about anymore, I don't think so. I blog about my work experience, talking about code and stuff, I use twitter to tweet about my daily ramblings and I plan to use my own tumblr as a digital clipboard.
But, what is the problem, a great many people do not know what to do with each medium, thus treating them all the same. How do we (including myself) tackle this problem, how do we maintain blogs that interest people, twitter streams that attract readers and a tumblr thingamagic that, ok I just started tumblr and should find out more about that before I give an stupid and unfounded opinion...
Not that that has stopped me in the past, or in the future for that matter, but hey, for the sake of this article, assume that I am a polite and thorough individual.
The point is, how do we make sense of the kaleidoscope of possibilities. What do we use to what purpose?
The answer is simple, use each tool where it is meant for and not for anything different. As a boy I used to help my dad doing chores, I didn't help out more than any other boy of about 6 (no more in fact than my boys do now), but I did learned an important lesson. Use a hammer to hammer and a screwdriver to screw. By doing this, you let the tool do what it does best and hinder you. I think that you can figure out what happens if you try to loosen a screw with a hammer. The same thing applies to things like blogs, twitter and tumblr. Best is to use each tool to do what they are good at...
So, what are the tools at hand good for? Lets analyse a few methods of sharing your mind on the web and discuss it's pro's and con's
A blog is good for collecting and displaying thorough thought, even a link log is only a good one if it has vision. It needs a vision and a goal, not that those things should be heavy, but it seems hard to me to fill your blog with baby kittens and hardcore c++ snippets and not confuse people... So you have to select your goal and stick with it
No good for jotting occasional ramblings, you have to keep at it, to satisfy your readers, you have to post regularly. And if you post, do not post something trivial. Respect the time of your reader as he or she is giving you by writing something worthwhile.
Twitter is great as a shoutbox and it sometimes gives instant feedback. I like the insights it gives me in to the daily lives, that people are giving me, although it sometimes is a bit weird. To see total strangers share stuff about their lives. It sometimes makes me feel like a peeping tom, to see what people share about their lives. Some things are fun, but I can imagine that some things are better left unsaid.
I do not know what exactly to make of twitter as of now. What I know is that some people treat is like an anonymous shout-box. But anonymous it is not, it is an free online service that is available for anyone to read. And by anyone, I mean anyone, also your clients and (future) employers. So don't go overboard is my advice and think before you shout. Although that doesn't count for yelling IE is driving me mad once in a while if you are an web developer...
As I said above, I haven't been using it for a long time, and for now only use is to dump fragments of code to. The same thing that I started this blog for a couple of years back. With tumblr I feel no obligation to write thorough and thoughtful pieces, this frees me to just post useful pieces of code that won't make it into an article (yet). Therefor, I post more information online for people to see, read and use.
I think that the same policy should go for tumblr that you should use for twitter, use with caution. Tumblr on the other hand is more of a blog, in that you can edit your post, to possibly censure your self.
All of these tools have their own merits and can help you very well. If you use your twitter, you don't get tempted to shout on your weblog, tumblr can help you set up pieces to share and keep and not publish half finished articles. Each of these tools can enhance the other, they are so different that they do not get in each others way but enhance one another.
These sources that I talk about in this piece are not the only ones of their kind. So please, go look around the web for alternatives and try them out. As you do, you will be able to form your own solid opinion.
Please find your own way with these applications and use them wisely. My opinion of these is not the only, so I advise you to form your own opinion on them.