Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Something New - Should I Twitter?

I have noticed the Twitter widget on a number of blogs lately. It seems there is no end to the gadgets, widgets and places where people are setting up social networks. I barely have time to read the few blogs I find particularly interesting and while I am always thinking to myself, "I want to blog about that," or composing blog posts in my mind as a way of outlining and clarifying my thoughts, the time never seems to be available to get the writing done. I know there is a way to make a blog post from my mobile phone, but I have as yet not been able to do this very efficiently or successfully.

I have been trying to find an effective means of garnering all these fleeting thoughts in one place, similar to what many of the early Americans did by keeping a commonplace. They would copy sections from books which they found relevant, thought-provoking, or selections which they liked and wanted to remember. These journals would also include personal reflections and ideas relating to the individuals reading or experiences.

So, when I read this in The Daily Dish I was intrigued.

John Dickerson makes the case for Twitter journalism:

We can all agree that journalism shouldn't get any smaller, but Twitter doesn't threaten the traditions of our craft. It adds, rather than subtracts, from what we do. As I spend nearly all of my time on the road these days reporting on the presidential campaigns, Twitter is the perfect place for all of those asides I've scribbled in the hundreds of notebooks I have in my garage from the campaigns and stories I've covered over the years. Inside each of those notebooks are little pieces of color I've picked up along the way. Sometimes these snippets are too off-topic or too inconsequential to work into a story. Sometimes they are the little notions or sideways thoughts that become the lede of a piece or the kicker. All of them now have found a home on Twitter.

I think I may have to give Twitter a try. What I find particularly inviting is the possibility to use my mobile phone, which I have available much more often than I am near the computer or have access to a pencil and paper. This may be the answer to sharing my thoughts on books I have read without needing to write a full review.

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