Microblogging with Twitter and Tinyurl

Web/Tech / Thursday, December 6th, 2007

As if regular blogging wasn’t addictive enough, I’m finding myself intrigued by the use of Twitter to track the keyworkds "black business" and "African-American" and lately I’ve received text messages on my phone that include short url addresses to these topics of interest where the url addresses all originate from a site called Tinyurl.

Let me step back a moment and explain why this is all so interesting. I use this blog to publish a post or two each week as I run across things that pertain to technology, entrepreneurship or personal development for Black businesses or African American entrepreneurship. I enjoy the blog and I understand the commitment required to keep the content fresh and relevant. I hope that my readers appreciate the effort and I have a decent amount of  traffic with some steady growth. Such is the nature of blogging. Microblogging takes this activity a step further in that you use a service like Twitter to send messages from your cell phone or mobile device. These messages are posted to your page on the service for others to read or subscribe to as followers. You can post SMS-sized messages (140 characters in the case of Twitter) as often as you like on your microblog and engage in what could be termed instant-messaging publication where you report on whatever occurs to you as it happens.

But blogging is most powerful when authors include links to content found elsewhere on the web so that their posts become interactive beyond end-of-post commenting, so where are the links in SMS blogging? Funny you should ask. Tinyurl is a free website that converts any url address to a small, compact url that won’t break across email messages and that never expires. Given the character restrictions of Twitter-style SMS blogging, the use of a small url address in addition to the speed and frequency of Twitter creates yet another oppportunity for our attention to be diverted by our own musings or the interruptions from others who send us the latest news and links for our information or amusement. We have now entered the world of text message blogging served up to everyone via the ubiquitous mobile phone. Whether this technology will be used for good or evil is yet to be determined. Marketing opportunities abound but, so far, controls are in place so that you only get what you ask to receive based on keywords or subscriber opt-ins.

You can check me out on Twitter at http://twitter.com/icemanbaldy.

Here’s an example of Tinyurl at work:

  • Normal permalink for this post: http://www.icemanbaldy.com/icemanbaldy/2007/12/microblogging-w.html (67 characters)
  • Tinyurl permalinkg for this post: http://tinyurl.com/yqn9su (25 characters)


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