The 140 Paradigm

So, one of the more interesting aspects of Twitter is the 140 character limit that the service has in place.  The roots of that decision go back to extending Tweets to text messages–and making sure even the most rudamentary device could support a text message from Twitter.

But now with Twittering becoming almost common place and so many people coming up with so many uses–the 140 character limit kind of acts as a safety blanket of sorts.  It keeps messages focused, cuts down on spam (although there are plenty trying to spam 140 characters at a time) and its still supported on the lowest end SMS programs.

Recently during a job review, I had a boss comment on my Twittering, and perhaps I had let my 140 limitations spill over to email–and I was not answering questions fully, instead trying to cut down the message.  Its an interesting hypothesis, and one I would love to figure out a way to test.  I think my email style is direct–the goal being short because its easier to read and the action items are not lost.  But perhaps that is in fact the case.

Just yesterday @SarenaP and I were debating communication skills and styles–and we carried on a good chunk of that debate via Twitter DM-140 characters at a time.  Its no wonder we had a tough time finding a way to reach a conclusion-the conversation was kind of choppy and in some cases delayed by internet delivery.

There is a cottage industry springing up in Twitter Marketing springing up where people actually charge to tell other people how to Twitter (I need to get in on that game).  Then there is the case of a friend in real estate. She and a bunch of her fellow sales folks created the #twitterqueens tag. And when that grew popular it became a Ning group.

All launched 140 characters  at a time.  

Sure it can be a challenge to make it work in 140, but as  a standard its not so bad.


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