Short, Sharp Bursts

No, I’m not advocating the use of machine gun fire so let’s nip that one in the bud right from the get-go. I am of course, referring to the ADHD kid of social media: Twitter.

I used to be so colourful: writing lengthy blog entries about what I’d been doing, where I’d been on holiday, things that piss me off and so on. I used to update my status on Facebook and look forward to reading friends’ updates and seeing what they’ve been up to in Farmville (OK not the second one). But that’s all gone by the wayside now. Facebook is getting along quite nicely without me, Thank You, and this blog… well, this blog has probably forgotten who its creator is, let’s just leave it at that.

The reason is Twitter. I’m addicted to Twitter. I really like Twitter. Twitter is my friend.


Well, I — like most people I guess — can be interesting and quite funny at times, but not all of the time. No. Quite a lot of the time I’m being just ordinary, and who wants to read that? That’s the trouble with blogging and bloggers: You know there is a rapier wit in there somewhere but you often have to trawl through pages and pages of “my cat did this” and “what I bought in Oxford St last weekend” in order to find the odd really funny story or joke. And if you yourself are a blogger (like I am, but I only loosely qualify on the grounds that I don’t do any actual blogging much any more) then you have the added chore of having to write regular pearls of wisdom or comedic gems that will have your readers rolling around beside their brushed metal computer desk in fits of laughter. That’s pressure.

If only there were some smaller, tighter, more concise way of telling the world how you feel. A way of immediately sharing that joke you just thought of. Nothing more, no pre-amble or detailed description of the circumstances. Just the joke. What if you have a statement you want to make about your view of the world right now but you don’t want to spend half an hour doing it? Well sit back and relax, because Twitter is the answer.

I find it liberating that I have only 140 characters in which to deliver my message whatever it may be. I no longer have to put too much thought into what I want to write, I just have an idea, then tippy tappy it’s gone, out into the Big Wide World. And even better, if you’re stuck for something to say you can read what everyone else is saying and respond to that. It’s like a huge shared firework display of language. BANG! that was nice. Oooohhhh! I liked that one, but now it’s gone and we’re on to the next. Whose rocket will launch next? I’m not sure this analogy is working now; seemed like a good idea at the time.

Anyway, I may not be writing much here at the moment (all that will change on January 1 of course), but at least I’ve done you the favour of including my Twitter timeline over on the left-hand column, in this <<—- general direction, so even if there are no updates on the blog you can at least see that I’m still alive and talking to people. Probably not to you though.


About Chris Neal

Personal Technology Consultant. Tailored services and advice for people who want more from their technology.
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2 Responses to Short, Sharp Bursts

  1. Scott says:

    Hi Chris, I’ll be curious to see how you feel about this over time. After being active on Twitter almost from the beginning of its life I’m finding myself bored with it. I like facebook still though I don’t actively update it but when I do, post articles, sharing sites, sharing photo albums, etc. and being able to more or less control who I share those with suits my “social” side more.

    I find myself using Twitter more and more to find a few people that are interesting but not necessarily someone I’d friend in facebook (or that would have me) and to receive targeted marketing from a few companies that I like enough to invite such push advertisements.


    • Chris Neal says:


      I too set up a Twitter account quite a while ago when it was first trendy, but I have to admit I didn’t really get it at the time. Since then it’s grown on me and I’ve met some really interesting people on there.

      The main challenge I find is keeping one’s personal online presence separate from the professional one. I try to have a policy (on Facebook) of having just one ID and being careful what I post, and to whom. We also have a page for Demo Systems (, so that’s a good way to keep updates distinct. I have also set up separate Twitter accounts for personal stuff (@nealofarabia) and professional marketing purposes (@novelldemo), because while I recognize the value of Twitter for marketing our stuff I also want to be able to be myself, outside of work.

      I hope it’s working!

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