What is Microblogging?

Microblogging is a broadcast medium in the form of blogging. A microblog differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typically smaller in both actual and aggregate file size. Microblogs "allow users to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images, or video links" These small messages are sometimes called microposts.

As with traditional blogging, microbloggers post about topics ranging from the simple, such as "what I'm doing right now," to the thematic, such as "sports cars." Commercial microblogs also exist to promote websites, services and products, and to promote collaboration within an organization.

Some microblogging services offer features such as privacy settings, which allow users to control who can read their microblogs, or alternative ways of publishing entries besides the web-based interface. These may include text messaging, instant messaging, E-mail, digital audio or digital video.
How do you use Microblogging?
The best way to begin using Microblogging is to explore the different Microblogging sites to see how people use them. This will help you decide what kind of profile you want to create. 
Here are a few steps to help you get started:
  • Create a username and profile. Choose a meaningful account name.
  • Write a short profile describing a little bit about yourself.
  • Start posting things which are relevant to your thoughts, research, publications, areas of expertise, etc.
  • Look for other people you would be interested in following. By following people and commenting or favouriting their posts, you have the opportunity to gain more followers.
  • Use hash tags (#) in front of keywords that sum up what your post is about. This will allow others to see your posts and have a better understanding of the content. 
  • Try to post something every day. The more posts you have, the more followers you will have.
Why do you use Microblogging?                                                  
  • To create a classroom community and discussion
  • For collaborative writing
  • A platform for metacognition
  • For research
  • To create a Personal Learning Network (PLN)

In addition to these uses, Twitter provides an excellent, easy way for students to “publish” their writing and write for an authentic audience. Blogging in general helps student motivation because they are writing for a potential global audience, not just the teacher.

Pros and Cons to Microblogging


As like other Internet tools, microblogging has a range of advantages to it, along with a few disadvantages. Microblogging allows you to stay linked and in touch through updates and feeds, as well as interact with multiple people at once. Not only are microblogs entertaining, but they are also a way to pass the time. Many times, microblogs allow the choice of broadcasting a message to multiple people at once, or just a single person. Companies can use micro blogs to sell and market products, get user/customer feedback, and brand awareness.


Unfortunately, microblogging is very prone to getting off track quite quickly, and frequently. Also, many times microblogs have a character capacity, such as Twitter with a limit of 140. Microblogging is easily addictive, and often becomes an unfortunate distraction. If used properly and efficiently, microblogs can be a huge advantage for businesses and users' personal social lives.


Of course, the most popular and common website for many people's everyday microblogging fix is Twitter. Twitter allows people to post “tweets” that are 140 characters or less and simply answer the question “What are you doing?” Users’ answers lead to conversations, friendships, news stories and much more.

Twitter is “the fastest, simplest way to stay close to everything you care about” (http://twitter.com/about) whether this may be friends, classmates,  favourite businesses or even a celebrity idol or crush. Ever since the first tweet was sent by one of the founders @jack in March of 2006 – “just setting up my twttr” ­– users have been able to express themselves through these short tweets but even photos and videos. Users have also been able to send tweets from their phones and tablets using the microblogging sites mobile page, and even SMS messaging.

Twitter is a fabulous way for people to communicate for various reasons. People can learn about the news and what is happening all around the world simple by following their favourite news source’s Twitter. They can also learn first about a musician they love’s approaching tour dates and possibly even win a set of free tickets. The possibilities are endless on Twitter and have even been as wild as actually saving someone’s life. For example, a man was the victim of a carjacking and was put in the trunk of his car. He was able to text his girlfriend who then sent out a tweet to a popular Twitter user. This Twitter user was able to reach out and get in touch with security in the area and they were able to track the man’s cell phone signal and rescue him.

Twitter is an extremely prevalent microblogging website for so many reasons. Check out just how popular the world of Twitter is with some statistics from September 2012.

Tumblr is another popular microblogging and social media website which is interfaced with Twitter. Tumblr is a mostly unrestricted and creative website to microblog on. Users are able to post links, audio clips, quotes, questions, thoughts, photos and videos. Tumblr is an easy to maneuver website because it is simple to join, navigate and search within. Tumblr also offers a lot of freedom to its users. They can create their own individual URL to represents themselves and they can also edit their blogs layout so it reflects their personality and sense of style.

David Karp founded Tumblr in February 2007 when he was 21. Fun fact: he actually had his own web-designing business at age 11!

Below are some recent statistics about Tumblr.

Other Examples

Posterous lets users blog with the ease of email. It is a microblogging website that allows people to share images, video’s, short posts and comments. It is simple to use and requires minimal effort when signing up.


Plurk is similar to Twitter since users post short blurbs of information, however it incorporates instant messaging spread out as a timeline.

FriendFeed allows people to share their Twitter posts, Stumbleupon links, Facebook updates, Blogger posts and more in one bundle for all of their friends to see.

Jaiku was a social networking, microblogging and life streaming website, much similar to Twitter, founded in February of 2006. It was purchased by Google in October of 2007.



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Educause. (2009). 7 Things you should know about Microblogging. Retrieved January 30, 2013, from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7051.pdf

Gray, M. (2009, August 11). 5 microblogging sites that aren’t twitter. In Search Engine Land. Retrieved February 1, 2013, from http://searchengineland.com/5-microblogging-sites-that-arent-twitter-23481

Gunelius, S. (n.d.). What is Posterous?. In About.com. Retrieved January 29, 2013, from http://weblogs.about.com/od/choosingabloghost/p/What-Is-Posterous.htm

Henry, A. (2007, September 6). 10 micro-blogging tools compared. In readwrite. Retrieved February 1, 2013, from http://readwrite.com/2007/09/06/10_micro-blogging_tools_compared 

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Mercy. (2008, December 3). Micro Blogging Advantages and Disadvantages. Retrieved September 30, 2012, from Seo Daily Posts: http://seodailydose.blogspot.ca/2008/12/micro-blogging-advantages-and.html

Smallman, W. (2008, June 4). What is Plurk?. In Blah, blah! technology. Retrieved January 30, 2013, from                     http://www.blahblahtech.com/2008/06/what-is-plurk.html 

 Sroller, E. (2009, July 7). 7 thing you should know about microblogging. Retrieved January 30, 2013,from http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/7-things-you-should-know-about-microblogging 

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