The publishing world has no want for analogies to describe various distribution media. Two of the best, though, apply to Twitter and blogs.
Twitter is a very real-time publication stream. You carefully craft a story or message and drop it into a river of ever-flowing content to be consumed by others.
It’s akin to sticking your head out the window of a moving car and yelling your message at bystanders on the sidewalk. The only people who ever know you said something are those who happened to be standing on that particular street at that particular time.
Yes, your followers (those who would frequent your street) can rewind things and see what you said before they got up that morning. Unfortunately that becomes a nearly impossible task as individuals’ list of accounts to follow continues to grow.
If your message is important, you might make a go of repeating it over and over again, hoping to catch a new crowd of followers each time. 1
Unfortunately, this also leads to a phenomenon known as Twitterspam. If you follow certain accounts long enough, you’ll see their postings consist mostly of links to off-site content and no real interaction with the rest of the community. It dilutes your ability to convey messages effectively as the people you want listening are less likely to pay attention to a spammer.
Blogging is more akin to writing prose and placing it into a time capsule. On the one hand, most sites receive a major influx of content when a new post goes live. This could be because they promote the new content on Twitter or through other social media. It could be due to RSS readers acknowledging the new content.
Frankly, it doesn’t matter. The real value in a blog is that content never disappears. Every word written is available essentially forever, and the cost involved with pulling that content back to the forefront is minimal. Unlike a realtime stream (Twitter), blogs provide a way to consistently access evergreen, long-form writing.
Unlike streams of information, blogs are a great way to collect a wealth of knowledge that might prove useful in the future. That said, too frequently referencing articles from your own site could be perceived as a form of Blogspam.
Like its Twitter-relative above, blogspam can be just as damaging to your ability to reach a target audience.
With both in mind, how can you best leverage a consistent publication calendar without also alienating your target audience?
- There are even software solutions that help schedule messages to achieve exactly this end. ↩