It seems to me that there are two distinct use cases of a blog:
- As an on-line diary
- As a space to post thoughts, ideas, comments and editorials
Given the date stamp nature of the entry system, it would seem that the on-line diary would be the most common usage. But browsing around the blogosphere seems to refute this claim. I guess that there is an arrogance issue (who cares what you did yesterday?) but probably more importantly a privacy issue. After all, serious money can be made by publishing your memoirs and why would we bother to read them if all the relevant details have already been published on your blog. I guess that the final reason might simply be that people are not actually that interesting and a diary approach gets pretty boring pretty quickly. So the only real usage of a blog for a diary is in the ‘professional’ world where there may be interest in the progress of a project or what someone has been doing recently.
So, the most common usage is for thoughts, ideas, experimental stories and random musings on the world. Well that is what I use mine for anywyay. Which got me to thinking a bit more about Twitter: Maybe my knocking of Twitter was misplaced- maybe Twitter is better as an on-line diary. After all, you can limit who can see your entries to just those people who you approve and the micro-entry format suits itself much more to capturing the brief entries that you might make as you go about your day.
I have another use case for Twitter though: One that I am currently trying out, though I am not sure of the value of using an on-line service (I think that paper and a pen may be a better bet, or at least just using the PIM functionality in your phone): I am throwing up the snippets of ideas for articles onto Twitter. So, today I found myself wondering
- Whether Twitter will make an on-line diary (kind of self referential that one!)
- How routine it has become for me to drive, fly and sit on a train to get to work each week. Travelling across a sea to another country just to go to work should be mind blowing, but it is just another week, just another load of frequent flyer points
- At last the ‘Check Engine’ light has gone off on my car. I think that I over filled it with oil and so I have been waiting (and hoping) that by driving a lot and burning off the oil the light would go out. I guess I get to find out on Thursday when I drive home- we’ll see.
- As I sat in a room of engineering types I couldn’t believe that the basic processes for managing a large scale constuction project were so poorly defined. At first I thought that this must be specific to the oil business (us being a bunch of cowboys and all that) but then things like the cost over-runs at Wembley Stadium have nothing to do with oil and they were at least as bad as anything that I have heard of
- How old do I look? And how old do you see yourself as? Internally I still see myself in my early to mid-30’s. OK, life changed a lot then (kids, jobs, moving countries etc) but I don’t feel as though I have aged since then. All except my knees- they definitely feel as though they have aged. I just wonder what the rest of the world sees. Answers on a postcard please….
I threw most of those points up onto Twitter, so that they would act as a spur to me to write them up. But my problem is frequently not the ideas, it is finding time to turn those ideas into sensible prose. And yes the quality of this post does entirely prove my point.