Saturday, August 4, 2007

Thing 35: Mini or Micro Blogging

I'm not really starting something new here but rather bringing a feature of our Ning Network into focus today. If you are also following there you may have noticed a feature on the left column, where quotes from books are turning up. Jamie has been giving us a bit of mini, micro, or nano blogging for several weeks now.

What is Mini Blogging? Where can I set one up? Why would I?

Mini blogs are limited to short messages (frequently 140 characters), they began as cell phone text messages limited to a geographic region that could be used to find your friends, find out what's going on in the area that night, or to invite your friends to all go to the latest Harry Potter movie on opening night together. The original miniblog, Dodgeball, has all but disappeared and isn't available in Charlotte. However, several others have appeared and brought it to the web, though they still have the option to send and receive the messages on your cell phone. I don't advise getting that unless you have unlimited text messages in your phone plan though.

The new mini-blogs are:
Twitter - your posts are called Tweets

Jaiku - allows you to set up groups and has easy search

Hictu - mostly popular in France, Italy, and England
Frazr - French and German
Pownce - allows the biggest posts and also can be used for file transfer (up to 10MB in the free version, sounds more like email) since an invite is required I can't find out much more about it.

Jamie is using Jaiku. My Finnish expert tells me it is pronounced yai-coo to rhyme with haiku but the j is pronounced as a y.

Jaiku is perhaps my favorite as I find it easier to find people I'd like to follow. Twitter doesn't have a built in search but refers you to another site to find people. I found the people I follow by going to Jaiku and following them back to Twitter, which is kind of backwards. When you set up an account you will then want to find your Friends and "follow" what they are doing or saying. As time goes on you will find other people are following you much like we have people from all over the world following this Learning 2.1 blog and the Ning Network. There are still people using their mini-blog to arrange meetings at restaurants or movies but there really isn't a limit to how you use it. It has been used for mini-emails between colleagues, as Jamie did to share a quote a day, or to put out a call for info for a news article. Twitter does have a few good features mostly due to being open for people to modify it however they would like. Both allow you to create "badges" so you can have your feed from Twitter and/or Jaiku show up in your blog or social network page on Ning, MySpace, or other websites. You can even set them up to show up on each other. This is another example of the interconnectedness of Web 2.0 services that we've seen over the last year with many of the "Things" we have explored.

So this week go to either Twitter or Jaiku and set up an account. Post a message, find a few friends to "follow." If you have unlimited text messaging you can go that route but be warned you could find yourself having your phone ring all day long. Alternatively just enjoy Jamie's quotes of the day on Ning. Don't forget to write a blog post about your experience.


Jamie said...

If you're at Twitter or Pownce and looking for friends, I've got accounts there too! At Twitter it's ClassicStarts, and at Pownce it's PLCMC.

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