A great tweet yesterday from @NiemanLab "Is Twitter writing or is it speech? Why it's time to change the way we think about social media http://nie.mn/iEN66y" drew my interest and after reading Megan Garber's thoughts on the subject and that of the ensuing links provided, it got me thinking.
While some tweets may be nothing more than a quick shout, more often then not, I find there is more to it than that. The posting limits of Twitter and Facebook by their very short nature force us to consider what we say and how to say it within the few bytes we get to do so. More so when the complete thought is within the tweet or post, but even when it is just a blurb to tease others into the treatise further explored in a blog, it forces us to think of how to say it within the boundary's defined by the limits themselves.
Sometimes this requires txt shorthand itself, but more often then not we must think through what we say and be creative enough to fit it in the space provided to do so. In this way, it differs from spoken dialog, typically unedited and in fact at times we wish we could pull it back even as the words come out of our mouths. Herein lies the challenge: to say what we want, keeping it short and sweet, yet still compelling enough to achieve the goal set forth in our quest to post in the first place. After all, are the character limits of the new medium really that different then the article word limits set by a publisher to the journalist or writer in print? I am not saying we all become professionals or minimizing what the professionals do day in and out. But doesn't it force all of us who have chosen to participate, to step up our games in this new Art of the Short?