It can be extremely difficult to try and fit your thoughts into only 140 characters.
It’s even harder to try and be funny in that limited space.
But see, that’s the whole point.
According to @Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, “The name Twitter came from @Noah Glass & the Oxford English: “a short inconsequential burst of information, chirps from birds.” #twttr”
Originally, Jack created it as a way to dispatch bike couriers and then thought it would work as a quick and easy status update using SMS.
This creation of short messages was an antidote to platforms such as email and blogs, where there’s no limit and you can ramble on for however long you like.
It’s called micro-blogging for a reason, folks.
But of course the inevitable had to happen and now tools have been created so that you can easily extend your tweets:
– TweetExtend allows you to add “up to 14,000 characters per tweet.” Great. Do you know how long it takes me to get through my feed each day already? Now I’ve got to sift through your tome on the genius of David Foster Wallace…
– RichTweets, because “Sometimes140 characters are not enough.” Not only can you write to your heart’s content, but you can create full HTML Tweets, with colors, images, videos and widgets. Why not just blog then?
– TweetC will “auto split a post into multiple tweets with a link back to your longer message.” Why not just write and post a number of 140-character messages then? The standout feature of this service is that it lets you post by email. And since there’s no character counter there, you’ll be sure to exceed 140, thus making this program perfect for you.
– JumboTweet introduces himself to you on the homepage: “Hi! My name is Jumbo and I’m a Hippo! I help my friend Twitter carry bigger messages between users! I enjoy delivering meaningful conversations and memorable discussions.” Apparently this service is for kindergarteners who want to tweet, but don’t have time to check their character counts between studying Baby Einstein and deciding which Glee character they’re going to be for Halloween.
Yes, I’m making fun of these a bit. But it’s because these programs have been created so that you don’t have to adhere to the rules.
Twitter allows for 140 characters because it is meant as a venue to update your status, to write a quick witticism and to find out what’s going on in a mere sentence or two.
What if we took away book editors and just let people publish the length they wanted? There’s a reason that most songs are chopped down to 3-4 minutes, that editors remove portions of a book and why breakfast is usually only served until 11.
We live in a society where much of the time anything goes and occasionally there are rules we have to follow to enjoy such liberties.
I’m following them. What about you?