Brevity is the essence of Twit

I was just watching the Robert Scoble video at Fast Company, discussing using SMS with google to make queries.

The interesting thing is the economy and utility of the short format messaging. SMS only allows for 140 characters. Doesn't sound like much, does it? Having worked in advertising all of my working life I guess I'm not phased by the necessity for brevity. It costs a lot for media time - so 30 second commercials are the most common format. In 30 seconds the most words you can choose is approximately 75. That's a pretty densely worded ad. Because TV is a visual medium and humans receive most of our useful data through our eyes there is an argument for being a little more economical with the spoken word. Personally I think you should also avoid relying on titles or supers, but that's another story and some of my colleagues would probably differ in their views.

The 140 character format translates to Twitter, the social media microblogging tool (you can see my Twitter feed over there on the right). Twitter allows you to update from your phone (I don't really do this much because your TXT is routed through London - or somewhere - and it can become an expensive proposition). The interesting thing is how rich the twitter environment can be - in spite of the requirement to parse the information - I have some favourite Tweeters who have a deft ability to make me laugh in one sentence or less.

Badbanana, Munki and HotDogsLadies all have a genius for the medium. Munki, (Sarah Wedde) from Wellington New Zealand could easily translate into a TV comedy show - no jokes longer than 140 characters.

"Spooning my cat seemed nice at the time but on reflection it's really making me question the direction my life is taking." - Munki

"Spent the day at an orchard. An apple store without geniuses." BadBanana - Tim Siedell

"Short on time? Hand me two 20-dollar bills. I'll keep one and summarize the self-help book of your choosing on the other. Win win." Hotdogsladies (Merlin Mann)

Maybe a curated book of humorous Tweets. What would the copyright implications be?


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