By Helena Hay
Are you going abroad this upcoming academic year? Want your friends, family and strangers to stay up to date on your new awesome life? Don’t make a blog. I’m serious. Here are the top four reasons why you should publicly log your adventures via Twitter instead.
1. Don’t know HTML or CSS? No problemo
Let’s compare the steps to create and maintain Twitter vs. a blog
- 1. Set-up an account. This includes making a username, password, picture, bio and background design if you choose.
1a. If you already have a Twitter, the above step is already done! Why should you create a whole separate blog chronicling your life when your Twitter already does that? Exactly, you shouldn’t.
- 2. Tweet to your heart’s desire, 140 characters at a time.
- 3. Respond to people who @mention you.
- 1. Find and choose a preferred blogging platform (Blogspot, WordPress, Xanga, Tumblr, Livejournal… the list goes on) and a domain name.
- 2. Make it look pretty. You could select a ready-made theme, or if you’re fancy you could create your own theme with coding and time.
- 3. Learn how to write eloquently. You can probably already do this but remember, you are publically publishing your thoughts now in full sentences. They should be well-written.
- 4. Read and respond to comments.
2. Blogs are long, attention spans are short
I won’t lie here. I’ve had a handful of friends go abroad who all had blogs. I barely ever read them. My favorite parts were always (and only) the pictures and their captions. What I’ve found through personal experience is, people don’t just keep abroad blogs to share with friends and family, but as a type of public diary. Wouldn’t you rather read a handful of varying tweets than a five paragraph tell-all? Keep it short, people.
3. Update on the go!
If you choose to use a smartphone abroad, not only is your phone smart, but you are too. To illustrate from personal experience, I recently went on a two week trip to Europe and brought an iPod touch as my only form of technology (I’m serious). Here’s why:
- - Free public wifi in Europe is more prevalent than in the US. Even if you don’t have wifi at the time you want to tweet, you can save it as a draft to send later.
- - If you have a data plan, this will allow you to tweet almost anywhere and makes you tweet consciously and with purpose since abroad data packages are not cheap.
- - Essentially, you’ll be able to to instantly tweet about anything. And so many external apps now connect to Twitter so, go ahead! Upload that photo of the Eiffel Tower via lockerz, twitpic or instagram, write about your gondolier in Venice (#swoon!), check-in to the Sydney Football Stadium via foursquare, upload that video of the Spanish Flamenco dancers via Tout.
4. Hone your loyal friends
You’re probably really popular. Lucky for you, Twitter has a feature that allows your followers the option of sending your tweets straight to their phones as a text message. See the image below, all you need to do is click the little cell phone icon next to the following button on a Twitter page and voila! You just became a modern day stalker, just kidding.
So if your relatives or even friends don’t want to log on to Twitter to see what you’re up to, they can opt to have it sent straight to their phones! Saving time and confusion.
Spend your time abroad, being abroad. Not blogging about it.
Not convinced? Let me know what you think in the comments below!