How things have changed in a few short months since I wrote an article commenting on my lack of understanding of the Twitter phenomenon. I now use it daily, and even much more so than Adium or Skype for much of my chattering with Beijing locals (you should absolutely be following me, @marcwan). In some ways, writing little 140 character messages in twitter space is like farting in the wind – who knows who’s going to notice. But there is one surprising side-effect of these short messages that I’ve decided I really enjoy: It encourages better writing.
Of course, many people will smply strt wrtng lke ths 2 get thngs 2 fit, but for those people who use Twitter for more professional goals, and attempt to maintain a (reasonably) polished appearance there, the 140 character limit forces you to really think about what you’re going to say and how you want to say it.
As somebody who all too often uses words like actually, really, absolutely, reasonably, and softens many sentences to make them avoid seeming too concrete or prescriptive, Twitter has really forced me to cut these out and start writing more succinctly. This is a good thing™.
(Interesting side note: you can type a lot more Chinese in 140 characters you can Western languages. Those characters pack a lot of meaning, and you can basicaly write a paragraph or two per Tweet. Contrast that with the struggle to fit a single sentence in the same space).
So, here’s to hoping my blog posts become increasingly less long-winded. All thanks to Twitter. Who’da thunk it?[Read Rest of Article]
I never really intended for it to spiral out of control like that. I had just started writing my book (a programming book on designing and writing web applications using outrageously nerdy technologies – truly the “Great American Novel”), and found myself frequently needing a little pick-me-up that only mind-altering substances could provide. You wouldn’t think that writing a book would be all that hard – you either know a lot about something or learn about it, and then sit down and write about it in your chosen language (which I am currently pretending still qualifies as “English”). The material to be covered should be planned out well in advance and one can thus sit down and write, write, Write![Read Rest of Article]