While most people are familiar with the term “blogging,” a lesser-known term that’s slowly but surely gaining momentum is “microblogging.” From Tumblr to Twitter, many online platforms are now supporting this unique method of content creation. But what exactly is a microblog and how do they work?
The Basics of Microblogging
Many believe the term microblogging was coined by writer, cartoonist and computer program Jonathan Gillette (AKA why the lucky stiff) in 2005. “Blogging has mutated into simpler forms (specifically, link- and mob- and aud- and vid- variant), but I don’t think I’ve seen a blog like Chris Neukirchen’s Anarchaia, which fudges together a bunch of disparate forms of citation (links, quotes, flickrings) into a very long and narrow and distracted tumblelog,” wrote Gillette.
Microblogging lives up to its namesake in the sense that it contains shorter blog posts, while also reducing the aggregated file size. While traditional blog posts are often 400-1500 words in length, a microblog post may be just 100-200 words. One of the most popular examples of a microblogging platform is Tumblr, which encourages users to create short posts. Granted, you can still craft a lengthy 500+ word post on Tumblr, but the platform is optimized for shorter, micro-sized posts. Twitter can also be categorized as a microblogging platform, limiting users’ tweets to 140 characters or less.
Benefits of Microblogging
You might be wondering what benefits microblogging offers over traditional blogging. Well, for starters it’s easier and takes less time to craft a microblog post. Since they usually contain 200 or fewer words, a microblog post can be created in a fraction of the time of a standard blog post. This means you can fill your blog with more posts, which should in turn drive more traffic to it.
Microblogging is also optimized for mobile compatibility. When users access a website on their smartphone or tablet, they typically want to short, easy-to-digest content, which is where microblogging comes into play: you can deliver straight-to-the-point content to mobile users without all of the unnecessary fluff that’s found in standard blog posts.
- Choose your words carefully. With a finite amount of space available, you have to think extra hard about which words and sentences to use in your microblog posts.
- Publish content surrounding trending topics to drive more traffic to your microblog. This same principle holds true for all blogs, but it’s particularly beneficial for microblogs.
- If allowed by your respective microblogging platform, use #hashtags to help categorize your content.
- Engage in discussions with your microblog’s readers and visitors.
- Adding animated GIFs is an excellent way to make your microblog more appealing.
- When you struggle to come up with new topic ideas for your microblog, embed a YouTube video while giving your own personal perspective on it.
- Make your microblog personal. The entire purpose of a microblog is to create a strong following of loyal users. In order to achieve this goal, you must speak from the first-person perspective.
What are your thoughts on microblogging? Love it or hate it? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/respres