Twitter = instant editing

-19. Damn it, what else am I going to cut?

If you use Twitter, you know what I’m talking about. I’m one of those people who (think they) need a 1,400 character limit. But that’s exactly why Twitter is good for me–it tells me (with that annoying character counter) just how much more concise I need to be. And I always manage to get it done.

Concision and precision are the virtues that get the most press when it comes to Twitter and writing.There’s a great copyblogger article on twitter and writing here that describes some of the training benefits that Twitter communication offers:

Crafting a message for Twitter requires you to…discover a better, clearer and more concise way to say what you want to say.

Now most people won’t hit 140 characters right away. No, they’ll end up with 160 or 148 characters to start out with…It’s almost like playing a game; trying to write a 140-character message and still get your point across in a way that inspires your followers to take action, to click on your link or to “retweet” your post.

I like to think of it as a brainteaser, forcing me to think hard and dig deep down into my vocabulary to find a way to shorten my message.

Twitter has this effect on me most of the time. It doesn’t work, of course, if all you want to share is “Lard pops for dessert. Mmmm.” But if you have a bit more to communicate (whether personal, playful, or professional), chances are Twitter will crack the editing whip for you. Maybe I should start pasting troublesome sentences into my twitter composition box to see just how far the benefits might extend.

Consider this as permission to view Twitter as (moderately) purposeful, even beyond its networking benefits.

Twitter version of this post:

Twitter for concision, precision, clarity, and hook. Procrastination? Sure. But at least you’re being naughty in 140 characters or less.

(3 characters to spare)


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