Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ideas of March

Fellow blogger Chris Shifflet recently blogged Ideas of March as a call to revive the art of blogging, and I think for good reason. The immense success of Twitter combined with a 140 character limit has created a situation where more people are communicating than ever before, but they are doing it in short, disjointed and poorly spelled blurts.

The internet has done amazing things to expand the ability for people who would not have normally ever been connected to each other to have a conversation about critical subjects. Tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the myriad assorted blogs now allow people to communicate on a global scale without having to invest in travel or take valuable time from work, family or school. Even just ten years ago, it would have been difficult to place 100 like minded people from 100 countries in a room together to discuss an important issue. This has changed dramatically in the last few years and we saw the evidence of this in North Africa where protesters literally tweeted a revolution. The recent Occupy Wallstreet protest would likely not have been possible without the massively interconnected society we have today using the vehicles of Twitter and Facebook. However, the short burst nature of tweeted communication creates immediate but disjointed conversation. Having 100 people in a room all talking at once is still conversation, but it is difficult to pull constructive conclusions from.

This disjointed conversation is why I like blogs. A blogger has the ability to form a statement, create an argument for an idea, and share it as a complete thought. Readers have an opportunity to digest the thought and provide counterpoints or questions in an equally thoughtful manner. An intelligent dialog ensues. This is more like having that same 100 people in a room, but moderated with one person having the microphone at a time. Much more civilized.

Blogs also have the added benefit natural archiving. Since the communication is all in one place, on a single page, each blog post adds to a catalogued archive of conversations. A reader can go back months or years in historical blogs to follow a theme or collection of posts to get a full understanding of the conversation.

One of the concerns with 140 character text blob updates is that brevity leads to a perversion of the language (any language). A whole generation is communicating in acronyms, emoticons and abbreviations. They post their statement and watch for replies, but parts of the conversation may be hours or days apart and parts of the conversation get lost. Bloggers have the privilege of using full sentences and real words to express ideas.

I primarily blog about business, technology and customer service with the odd sprinkling of robotics and electronics. Sounds a little spread out, I know, but… oh look a bunny! … yes, I am a little A.D.D. I have been trying to keep to a once a month schedule, but have plans to increase that frequency to help improve the quality of conversation through blogging. As always I am open to sharing ideas and expanding the conversation

Be Awesome. Change the world.


calvinfroedge said...

This has been going on for a spell. George Orwell had some things to say about the break down of language:

Tom Mairs said...

Absolutely agreed. Modern Language, particularly the English language, came to it's current state through evolution and cultural pressure. The acronym-emoticon language of the 140 character world is the internet equivalent of local colloquialisms and should not be discounted. The problem is the disjointed nature of the information stream.