What Are Microblogs?
Microblog = micro + blog; A microblog is exactly what is sounds like, it is a mini-blog. More simply put they are blogs with character limitations, literally say 140 characters (twitter) etc.
Definition 1 -
“A blog on which one posts brief, frequent updates on one’s activities” source
Definition 2 -
“Micro-blogging is a form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates (usually less than 140 characters) and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail, MP3 or the Web.” source
Definition 3 -
“Micro-blogging is a form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send brief text updates or micromedia such as photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, digital audio or the web. The content of a micro-blog differs from a traditional blog in that it is typically more topical, smaller in aggregate file size (e.g. text, audio or video) but is the same in that people utilize it for both business and individual reasons. Many micro-blogs provide this short commentary on a person-to-person level, or share news about a company’s products and services.” source
Definition 4 -
“Microblogs allow users to blog about their current activities by providing small snippets of information to their microblog followers.” source
What Practical Problems Do Microblogs Solve?
Starting & maintaining a blog can be a time consuming & somewhat technical task, depending on how tech savvy the user is & what functionality the user wants. Not everyone is great at writing / blogging. What do you do with all of your small or stray thoughts?
A micro blog is short & much more simple then full on blogging. It is fast, mobile, cheap & easy to write. It can be used both as a social networking tool & as an instant notification to all of your friends.
What Do Micro Blogs Look Like?
Web 2.0 Microblog: Twitter.com – “What are you doing?”
What is Twitter?
“Twitter is a micro-blogging social media tool that asks the question, “What are you doing?” Individuals, who have logged in and registered for the free service, answer the question within 140 characters or within multiple updates and then ‘update’ their status. Twitter works by individuals agreeing to ‘follow’ a certain Twitter account. Once following this account, the person then gets the account’s updates. It is a great medium that lends itself to both one-to-one communications, as well as one-to-many communications. In the past year, Twitter has gone from 600k accounts, to several million accounts.” source
Enterprise 2.0 Microblog: Yammer.com - “What are you working on?”
What is Yammer?
“Yammer is a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: “What are you working on?” As employees answer that question, a feed is created in one central location enabling co-workers to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information. Yammer also serves as a company directory in which every employee has a profile and as a knowledge base where past conversations can be easily accessed and referenced. Anyone in a company can start their Yammer network and begin inviting colleagues. The privacy of each network is ensured by limiting access to those with a valid company email address. The basic Yammer service is free. Companies can pay to claim and administer their networks.” source
Twitter in Plain English
Still don’t get microblogs or twitter? A shout out to Common Craft for creating awesome animated paperwork videos.