At more and more conferences, Twitter is becoming the conversation of choice. Instead of live blogging, people are twittering live reports from conferences, as well as chatting among themselves as if Twitter were a live chat or instant message service.
Twitter is easy. It’s accessible from the web and cell phones. Anyone can do it. You just have to stay within the 140 character limit.
People are adding Twitter to their blogs, integrating their tweets into the blog’s sidebar, as well as tweets from others.
So how is this helping or hurting your blog?
How Twitter Helps Your Blog
Twitter helps many by directing the masses towards specific information, such as a new blog post or an old one that applies to a specific inquiry.
Twitter helps with blog research, since you can ask just about anyone anywhere about anything and often get an answer that helps you write your blog post.
Many Twitter comments are becoming inspiration for blog posts, helping bloggers find something to write about.
As a straight communications and networking tool, Twitter helps you monitor industry information from niche bloggers and experts. It helps you learn more about your area of expertise as well as new avenues that can help you blog better and improve your business.
You can also make strong connections and find guest bloggers and business relationships that may reflect improvements and news on your blog.
There are many ways Twitter can help the blogger, so how can it hurt?
How Twitter Hurts Your Blog
Twitter can hurt your blog the most because Twitter is becoming a replacement for blogs.
I don’t think that Twitters will ever truly replace the blog as a form of searchable, viable bodies of work, especially with the current 140 character limit, but it is taking energy away from your blogs.
Many bloggers aren’t blogging as much as they used to as they have found a way to say what they need on Twitter. The rush to be the first to blog the news is not as important as being the first to Twitter the news.
Twitter can be a major time suck, pulling you away from the time you would normally spend working on developing content for your blog, responding to comments on your blog, and commenting on other blogs. Why bother with the blog conversation when it’s defintely more exciting to join the Twitter conversation.
When you choose to Twitter rather than blog, and your readers aren’t tracking you on Twitter, who wins? Who loses?
Don’t forget your blog readers. Continue to support your blog. Continue to provide service to them. You can’t put pictures on Twitter. You can’t upload videos or podcasts. Twitter isn’t the end all and be all of online communication.
Think of your blog as your virtual business card and resume. It serves as a placeholder in your personal and professional life that showcases your talents and skills. Communicate through all the various online social media and networking tools, but make sure that your main showcase, the centerpiece around which everything else should revolve, still gets the attention it deserves, and that it still speaks well for you.