Thursday, March 19, 2009

Microblogging is not micromessaging

While I understand that from a technical perspective, microblogging is in fact micromessaging, I would rather argue that from a conceptual and communication-oriented perspective, the term microblogging for services such as twitter or jaiku is indeed more appropriate. The explanation may seem rather simple:

  • In messaging applications, there is a sender defining a number of addresses. Typically, these applications are working asynchronously. For synchronous applications, the term to use would be conferencing, in analogy to meetings.
  • In blogging applications, the originator of a message or contribution does not know about who will read, as there are no reading access restrictions. This also means that anyone may comment (or reply) to a contribution. With regards to weblogs, commenting may be moderated (i. e. the owner needs to approve a comment), or turned off (e. g. if discussions following a contribution should be suppressed).

That is, in a nutshell, why microblogging is in fact just that, and not micromessaging.

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