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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blogging is out...Microblogging is in...

This is how Wikipedia defines micro-blogging ...

Micro-blogging is a form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates (usually less than 200 characters) and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, MP3 or the web.”

Micro-blogging is emerging as a new form of expression. Be it the Facebook or Orkut 'Status Update' or the G-Talk or Yahoo Messenger status messages, people are using micro-blogging to express themselves in newer ways. Now with just a couple of lines, you can convey what you are feeling at the moment. The challenge is to be creative, so that that one line or couple of lines not only are interesting to read but also capture your feelings at that moment. This momentary capture of feeling is what makes micro-blogging so different from the traditional blog. The traditional blog post has a limitation that it is an expression of a collection of feelings over a slightly more extended period of time. It sometimes fails to capture the moods changes, the change in feelings as they happen, which a simple messenger status change does. So, if a status changes from :-( in the morning to :-) by lunch, you get the broad picture of what that particular person has gone through since morning. No need of a lengthy blog to convey one's feelings.

Sometimes finding original content, which would just give the perfect measure of the feeling, becomes tough. Then quotes and song lyrics come into play. Sometimes interpreting why a particular person has put a particular song lyric or a particular quote at a particular time as a status update, is in itself a source of great fun and time pass. Sometimes it is less a case of feelings being expressed and more a case of trying to be humorous. Even them, the expression the humor takes gives an indication of the present state of affairs for that person. Let me give you an example:

Commitment as measured on a Likert Scale: 1) Not Committed 2) Committed for the time being(time constraint) 3) Committed in the college/office ( institutional constraint) 4) committed for the city (geographical constraint) 5) Committed for Life!!!...so, where do u rate yourself?? ;-)

This was one of my status messages for gtalk during my summer internship. Feelings are no where into play here, it is a pure trying-to-be-funny status. But still, for someone who would have a slight idea of what I am doing these days would know that some where I am connected with a marketing research problem(where else would the famous 5 point Likert Scale come into play?). So, it can be deduced that somehow the summer internship effect is showing.

Another one of my summers related gtalk status messages:

MNYL: Your Partner for Life..."Your" defined as a TG of single, beautiful women...bhasad in the times of summers...am lovin it!!!

(Btw MNYL is name of the company where I did my internship, and “your partner for life” is their punchline. Further, TG is marketing jargon for Target Group)

One status message related to my being in Chandigarh/Mohali for my internship:

Hit a six, take a wicket...get a hug from priety zinta...no wonder Kings X1 Punjab are doing so well :D:D:D

Finally, one of my favorite status messages:

The truth about marketers: "baatein toh acche karte hain, kaash aadmi bhi acche hote"!!!! ;-)

Who better than a marketing student, to spill the beans about the reality of marketers. So, all in all, micro blogging either depicts a feeling or even when it is humorous, it is somehow related to the present “external context”. These wont replace blogs but in their own small ways, they give an outlet for individuals to express themselves as and when they please.

Note: The gtalk status messages shown in this post are taken through the Kwippy software which automatically saves the status messages of an individual at a dedicated page.

1 comment:

Vikas Pamnani said...

Quite interesting Sid !! I gave a thought sometimes that why do people give such status messages and sometimes so weird ones??..now after knowing that it is called as micro-blogging, i think asking this question is same as asking why people blog?? ;P

Well..thanks for this info !!

Yuhin likhte raho...likhna hi zindagi hai.. ;)

Happy micro-blogging !!