In celebration of what will be my 1024th Tweet, the one that will be generated by this post, I’d like to announce that I have a Twitter account!
As you might expect, my handle is @tpenguinltg. It’s actually been over a year since I got it and it’s been getting more activity lately than all of my blogs combined.
Wait, didn’t you say you wouldn’t ever get one?
There was a time when I said that I’m not one for microblogging and there was no way I’d get on Twitter. If I wanted to follow anyone on Twitter, I could subscribe to an RSS feed. I had my blogs, so I thought there was no reason for me to do any microblogging: I held (and still do to a lesser extent) that microblogging isn’t “real” blogging and that it’s better to spend time and thought into a well-crafted blog post if one had anything worth saying.
Boy, was I wrong.
Let’s back up a little. On June 22, 2014, I stumbled across Atomattic’s P2 theme. I found it interesting; the focus was on short posts, much like microblogging, and anyone can post on the site. Automattic uses it internally as well, so it had to be good. I set up a WordPress blog called “Microblogging” to try it out.
I had trouble coming up with content, and posting was a rather inconvenient and lengthy process. To post, I had to go to the site, log in if I wasn’t already logged in, and post my message. If I had trouble coming up with content and the Tweeting process would be a similar hassle, I didn’t really need Twitter.
Sometime early last year, my friend Peggy decided to strike a deal with me: she would get a Twitter account iff I got an account. By the definition of “iff”, if we stayed as we were without accounts, everything would have been fine. For some reason, though, she really wanted me to get an account, and she wanted me to get it first.
What happened next was unclear, but I somehow got caught in a loophole and, to uphold my end of the deal, I had to make an account. The handle @tpenguinltg was the obvious choice, and it became mine in March 2015.
Peggy made her account (@sincerelypeggy) a few weeks later in compliance with the deal. She has since deactivated the account.
The first Tweet
My first Tweet and I had already got caught in the subtle difference between a reply and a mention. After that Tweet, I’ve learned to word my mentions carefully.
One of the only reasons why I decided to accept Peggy’s deal was because of mikeage’s prpltwtr plugin for Pidgin. This plugin allows me to treat Twitter like a group chat and make Tweets from Pidgin. Recall, one of the things that deterred me from getting a Twitter account was the lengthy process to make a Tweet. Since I always have a Pidgin window open, Tweeting is as simple as typing in a message and pressing Enter. I still have to go to the site to post any media Tweets, but I’m okay with that.
The other thing that was keeping me from getting a Twitter account was the ability to generate content. “Microblogging” didn’t turn out very well, but I had the right idea: write content that was significant enough to be worth saying, but too small for a full blog post. I realized that I was sending links and making comments to multiple friends, so I just had to post that on Twitter instead of bothering everyone. It’s much like how this blog started, actually: it started off as a collection of mailing lists that I eventually decided to channel into a blog because the content was more suitable for one.
I also realized that I could connect my various social media accounts to Twitter and have them automatically Tweet anything I post. I figured it would be a good way to aggregate and advertise my content.
On top of that, because of various commitments, I’ve had less and less time to write blog posts, and I don’t want to write posts just for the sake of publishing something. Twitter would allow me to publish content quickly and easily, and it could potentially serve as a post starter.
With the method and content solved, there was little reason for me to not get a Twitter account.
Since then, I’ve been able to Tweet something almost every day. Just over a week ago, I reached my 1000th Tweet and I don’t expect to stop using Twitter anytime soon.
“Microblogging” is pretty much dead, but if there’s ever a case where I want to say something that won’t fit in 140 characters but isn’t big enough for a proper blog post, I’ll use it.
However, as much as I’m using Twitter, these blogs aren’t going anywhere. I may not have as much time as I used to, but I’m still going to post Oku Hanako stuff on Thoughts on Oku Hanako, I’m still going to post Linux stuff on *nix Windows, and I’m still going to post whatever I feel like here on `The Penguin’ says….
In the meantime, if you’re on Twitter, consider giving me a follow. If you like the content here, you’re bound to be interested in the things I Tweet.