I’m going to try an experiment. Starting today, I’m making a commitment to tweet only links.
Why? I’ve been blogging for more than 15 years, but I blogged far more in the first 5 years than in the 10 years since. While there are many factors, I think joining Twitter drove the decline of my blogging habit more than anything else. Now, if I have something to share, I’ll write a sentence or two on Twitter and be done. Twitter lets me scratch the itch.
If I have something to share going forward, my hope is that this commitment will compel me to blog about it. If I can’t take the time to explore a thought by blogging, I should link to someone else who has. Twitter can still be great for spreading ideas, but it’s not a particularly good home for them.
In order to make this commitment more palatable (to hopefully inspire others to join me), there are a few exceptions:
- Personal tweets are still allowed. This includes most replies. Some judgment is required, but if it’s not something you would ever consider blogging about, then it’s probably trivial enough for Twitter. I like to wish friends a happy birthday, for example.
- Retweets are discouraged, but still allowed. I personally turned off all retweets, but retweeting doesn’t violate the spirit, since it’s similar to linking to someone else. Just be mindful not to spread the sort of shallow tweets that you’re trying to avoid yourself.
- When you tweet a link, you can add some commentary.
If you have something to share, don’t give yourself the easy out and temporary relief that comes from a tweet. Let your desire to share lead to a blog post.
I mentioned this idea to Chad this morning, and he committed to tweet only links. I hope you’ll join us, too.