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Moving My Twitter Content To My Blog: The Results (1 Week Later)

One week ago, I announced that I’d be moving all my Twitter content to my blog. There were many reasons for this, but the biggest one was that I wanted to permanently own all the content that I created, rather than surrender it to a third-party (Twitter). In order to drive traffic to my blog, I used TwitterFeed to auto-post a link to every blog post onto my Twitter account. I plan on doing this until my blog gets enough organic traffic where I no longer feel this is necessary (That could take awhile…).

Now that I’ve been doing this for about a week, I have some interesting results to report from my experiment. Here are my main findings:

Fewer posts – Blog posts, even extremely rudimentary ones, take a LOT more time than tweets to produce. Moreover, it’s virtually impossible to create a blog post on the go, whereas with my iPhone, I could easily find an article on the go and send it out to Twitter. As time goes on, I will have to find a balance between which articles require a quick tweet, and which articles deserve the fuller attention of a blog post.

Fewer retweets – Because many of my tweets no longer link directly to the source material, the number of retweets that my tweets receive has plummeted. On any given week, I’d usually have at least one tweet that got a few dozen retweets; not so anymore. I’m not sure if there’s anything that can be done about this, but on a personal level, I’d rather have a few retweets to my own content than a ton of retweets to someone else’s content. Anecdotally, I believe that retweets have very limited ability to drive more follows to my Twitter account, so I don’t know that I’ll miss the retweets too much, but who knows what other consequences losing retweets may have.

Better analytics – Because I have Google Analytics and Site Meter, I can see what people are clicking on, and what content attracts people more. There’s also a much greater capacity for discovery, in that people can click around, check out older posts, etc. This is much less likely on Twitter.

MUCH better comments and responses – People’s comments on my blog posts have been great so far! And when people are not limited to 140 characters, you can really have meaningful interaction and discussion in a way that’s impossible on Twitter. When you have to put a good 5 minutes of thought into what you’re writing, I think the discourse improves.

Miscellaneous – It’s a lot easier to link to blog posts than to tweets, so I’m getting a lot more inbound links via my blog than via Twitter. Moreover, I suspect people think it’s more meaningful when you praise their work in a permanent blog post rather than an ephemeral tweet, so it’s been gratifying to see that in action.

I feel better about myself as a person and a writer – Impossible to quantify, but still true. 

  • Anonymous

    Personally I find tweets that end in … and an URL to be highly annoying and against the spirit of Twitter. See: Ebert's many complaints. Instead of using it to communicate, it feels like you're using it as another RSS feed to drive traffic somewhere else. Which is fine, I suppose, but I'm personally not interested in that. As an aside: I love your photos, but flickr's mobile site is atrocious. It doesn't let me zoom in or pan and hijacks my back button so I can't leave the site. I don't suspect you'll be switching image hosts, but I thought you should have some feedback from someone who lives on his phone.

  • 1) Don't comment anonymously. It's against the spirit of this blog.

    2) I still use Twitter with the spirit in which it's intended. And if people don't like the RSS-like tweets, they can stop following me.

    3) Unfortunately Flickr is the best image hosting solution for a wide variety of reasons (great community, great speed for auto-tweets, stores full-size original image, etc.). Thanks for looking at the photos!

  • Dan

    1) Haha, okay. Not that it really matters what my name is, but there you go 😛

    2) I'm not particularly trying to change your mind, just giving you my thoughts on the topic in general… I believe that what you put on Twitter and what you consider to be your content are two different things, though. A blog is a home, whereas Twitter–to me–is more of an agora. If I look at someone's profile and see a bunch of "… http://" I know I'm looking either at spam, or someone using the service as a billboard. The automated nature just makes it feel so impersonal. It devalues followers into page hits… and since I don't see any ads (might be my setup), not even revenue-generating page hits, simply ego-stroking ones.

    3) Flickr is great. Their mobile site is terrible :/