The challenge of 140 characters

15 December 2008

I’ve been on Twitter for about a month now. As I posted a couple of weeks ago, I’m finding it very interesting, educational, and diverting. It hasn’t proved to be a time suck for me because I’m learning so much from the links people post to Twitter that it’s time well spent.

In Twitter, your posts (or “tweets” as they’re called) are limited to 140 characters. That’s not many characters. It’s a really interesting challenge to get your message across in that small bit of space. It’s a bit like writing haiku.

The biggest challenge for me is less the length and more the content of my posts. I want them to be useful and interesting. The folks I enjoy following are the ones who offer either helpful links or funny or thought-provoking posts. I’m not so interested in the tiny details of people’s lives, though that can be kind of interesting too, in a voyeuristic way.

My friend Geralin Thomas of Metropolitan Organizing tweeted about Favrd a website that showcases favorite tweets each day. On Twitter, you can mark any tweet a “Favorite” and it’s included on your Favorites list on your Twitter page. According to its Huh? page, Favrd “lists interesting things that show up on Twitter, based on the number of times an item has been declared a favorite.” It can be inspirational (and amusing) to check out Favrd because these tweets are usually so clever. In only 140 characters. Usually they’re so well written you don’t notice they’re so short.

So while I’m not trying to be funny on Twitter—and I kind of wish I were, but I don’t think that’s in my skill set at this point—I really do enjoy the folks who can be funny and clever in only 140 characters.

If you haven’t dipped your toe into Twitter yet, I encourage you to give it a try. Just go to the Twitter homepage and sign up. Even if you don’t post a lot, you can learn from the folks you follow. And if you do start posting you can really expand your network of helpful people in your life.

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Hi Janine:
Still trying to wrap my head around twitter; thanks for your insights into it. Wanted to know how your spa day went, would love to hear about it!

maureen wielansky 12/15/2008 05:58 PM

Maureen, thanks for your comment. I saw that you joined Twitter and now I can follow you!

Thanks for asking about Spa Day. I’ll post about it this week. It was fabulous.

Janine Adams 12/15/2008 06:00 PM

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About Janine

Janine Adams

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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