What is a microblog

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Aggregation of microblog posts


Microblogging is a form of digital messaging using a combination of web and mobile technologies for broadcasting short messages restricted to 140 characters. Microblogging can be fun and is surprisingly easy.

In addition to short text messages, microbloggers can share website links and links to photographs and video. The technology provides useful ways to respond to microposts from other microbloggers as well as features to associate and search for microposts on specific topics of interest using hashtags. Microblogging also facilitates community-building because users can follow the posts of other microbloggers with similar interests.

There are a number of ways in which you can post to a microblog service:

  • Via the web using the homepage of the service provider, for example Twitter. You will need an Internet connection.
  • Third party "dashboard services" that enable you to post to multiple websites and aggregate feeds from various sources in one place like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. You will need an internet connection.
  • Smartphone and tablet applications which connect to microblog service providers. You can use an Internet connection (wifi) or alternative data connection technologies (charges may apply for data usage).
  • Mobile phone text messaging, check your service provider and preference settings from your microblog service. Remember, charges may apply for using text messages. This does not require an Internet connection.

Wikipedia svg logo-en.svg  Microblogging
Microblogging is a broadcast medium in the form of blogging. A microblog differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typically smaller in both actual and aggregate file size. Microblogs "allow users to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images, or video links". These small messages are sometimes called microposts.

As with traditional blogging, microbloggers post about topics ranging from the simple, such as "what I'm doing right now," to the thematic, such as "sports cars." Commercial microblogs also exist to promote websites, services and products, and to promote collaboration within an organization.

Some microblogging services offer features such as privacy settings, which allow users to control who can read their microblogs, or alternative ways of publishing entries besides the web-based interface. These may include text messaging, instant messaging, E-mail, digital audio or digital video.

This extract is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. It uses material from the article "Microblogging", retrieved 16 03 2013.

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The basics of microblogging

View the 2008 video, Twitter in Plain English produced by Common Craft.

The video focuses on the original intention of Twitter, namely to answer the question: What are you doing?. However, microblogging can be used for a wide range of purposes. For example, we use microblogging as a tool for OERu learners to connect in real time with what they are doing in relation to an open course.