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Twitter Fails to Replace Conversation in Blog Commenting

“Twitter is about chit-Chat, and its discussions are by definition fleeting. By contrast, a good comment in a good blog will be likely not only to stand the test of time, it will potentially draw more exposure. Twitter is a micro-blogging service, so it follows naturally that it’s prone to micro-comments; it could be reasoned that twitter is the fast food of the blogging world – if you’re up for a nutricious thought-provoking discussion, you’re better off indulging a reputable blog than a reputable twitter.” – Pedro Cardoso

Twitter here, Twitter there, Twitter Everywhere! This statement isn’t an exaggeration, it’s a fact. If you have become a “twitteroholic” like me, you will find yourself tweeting on the go using your mobile phone or find yourself constantly tweeting while you are working on your computer like I am at the moment. If you have been using twitter for a while I am sure you know what exactly I am talking about. Twitter is addicting!

Whatever reason it is that you might or might not use Twitter for, it is a known fact that Twitter has taken the web like a wildfire. This gives birth to one question that seems to be burning in the blogosphere lately : Has Twitter replaced the traditional blog commenting?

“The conversation tends to be better on blogs because it is more focused. The lack of focus and the difficulty of having threaded conversations is the biggest problem people have with Twitter and it’s one people are trying to address using external tools.” – Msaleem

Off Topic Vs. On Topic Conversation

Although Twitter provides a communicating medium for web users, it is not as effective as blog commenting when it comes to talking about a particular subject or topic in hand. Sending out a tweet or asking a question might generate interest or answers for you but the conversation seems to take a different route after a short while. It is either not understood by all or is simply diverted by someone else which takes it to a whole different ball park.

On the other hand, with blog commenting most of the time conversation stays within subject. The blogger’s views are expressed in detail as they are not limited by word count like in Twitter. And the same goes true for commentators. Conversation in blog commenting can give rise to many questions and many answers and of course direct more readers and interest from traffic that comes along simply because of an active conversation. I personally think Twitter is great for communicating but when it comes to a set topic or a particular subject, blog commenting is hands down the winner.

140 Characters Vs. Unlimited Characters

You might be very effective in relaying the central idea of your message with a short note, but 140 characters allows you to portray only so much. Twitter limits users with 140 characters which at times makes it hard to convey your messages to the mass. As said earlier, Twitter is great for off hand communication but when it comes to a subject you are passionate about 140 characters might just not be enough.

“140 characters just doesn’t cut it. Twitter points you to stories but they then need to be discussed in a better environment.” – Colin Walker

Blog commenting on the other hand allows the blogger and readers to share their views and express themselves to it’s full extent. For instance, if there is a tweet asking “ Why do you think there are so many natural catastrophes lately?, “ you will see replies such as “ Global Warming ,“ or something like “ This was bound to happen. As we humans take over nature and alter everything chemically the natural balance of environment is altered as wel. “ I couldn’t finish this example simply because it’s over 140 characters. If it’s a subject you are passionate about, you want to share your views and expertise to it’s full potential and twitter certainly disables you from doing so, unless you plan on sending out 20 tweets. And this certainly isn’t the case when it comes to blog commenting. You are free to express yourself as much as you want, delve into the details of the subject and talk it up.

Filtered Vs. Unfiltered Conversation

Conversation in Twitter can sometimes escalate into an unorganized noise. As you read this article you might think I am against Twitter but again if you read the first few paragraphs I have made myself clear – I am a Twitteroholic. I use twitter for networking and promotional purposes and to carry casual conversations. Once in a while I will try and initiate a conversation on a particular topic but I prefer to do that on a blog rather than Twitter itself. The reason for my preference is simply because of unfiltered noise that Twitter harvests.

“I think that conversations are better in blog comments than Twitter because you can more easily track the line of discussion. Twitter’s lack of filtering and tying things together forces you out of Twitter to try to make sense of the conversation. And, of course, the 140 character limit restricts one’s flexibility.” – Mark Dykeman

Let’s assume you follow 250 people on Twitter and another 250 follow you. When you carry out a conversation, you will probably get 100 people to talk about that particular topic, and I am talking at the most here. Everyone else will be talking about something else. This can easily turn a conversation into a chaos. You can obviously click on the “replies” tab and see who had to say what, but what about your followers? They can easily get distracted by all the tweets they are seeing. You have a very high chance of your tweet or messages getting buried in the crowd. This certainly is not the case when it comes to the conversation in blog comments. People read and they share their views and expertise.

Conversation in blog comments is like a straight road where you won’t get lost. Twitter on the other hand is like a road that has thousand intersections where you can easily lose track of where you are going.

When it comes to off hand conversation, promotion and networking, I am all for Twitter. But you can see I am against the notion that blog commenting can be replaced by Twitter conversation. Twitter is fun, it is engaging and the fact that you can interact with so many people in real time is certainly uplifting and insightful at times. But when it comes to meaningful and indepth conversation about a particular topic or subject, blog commenting is still the hands down king.

I could have sent a tweet and conveyed my thoughts to all via Twitter but had so much to say and write, an indepth article was needed. That is when a blog becomes a medium to relay detailed messages and information. And the same goes true when it comes to conversation. Please join me in this discussion and let’s communicate our thoughts regarding this particular subject right here through comments. Let’s carry a conversation. A conversation that is not limited by character count, a conversation that sticks to the topic in hand.


  1. Hamilton Says:

    What if you could twitter, (chat), in the comment when the comments author was viewing the web page? Good? Bad? Useful?

  2. Keith Johnson Says:

    Great Article Ritu!!

    All the best,

    Keith Johnson
    Technical Writer & Author

  3. Mark Dykeman Says:

    In the end, it's the 140 chr. limit that I find the most limiting.

  4. Hamilton Says:

    So, how about chatting in the comments? Well...

    The beginnings of chat in comments as promised:


  5. Ritu Says:

    I think chat in blogging is a good idea. I can't vouch for it as I have personally never used it but I think it might be something that might be an option. Not sure. It you try it out please let us know on how it worked and so on. It could be the next big thing on comment discussion.

  6. johnnle Says:

    Twitter is for self indulgence and for people who just need attention. I guess that would be the majority of us. I'm not clear as to what conversations you can really have that would be coherent or structured. It's just a noisy and unfocused forum for communicating. Kinda like eating in a noisy restaurant with many conversations going on...if you really focused, you might be able to hear the person you're supposed to be dining with.

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