Microblogging, Miniblogging, Blogging, and Lifesteaming

I do all of these internet-related activities.  For the sake of explanation (to my visitors who may not have been part of the internet for a long time) I offer some explanation.  I’ve had many people ask me about the difference between all of these, and what the point of it all is.

I will go in order of size.

Microblogging

Microblogging is a way to get a quick message out to many followers.  It’s usually limited to 140 characters and can be created with SMS on a mobile phone.  It focuses on speed and mobility to get short, “status-style” messages out to your friends (if they follow you on that service).

There are several sites that offer microblogging, the most popular being twitter.  There are other sites, however: identi.ca, jaiku, plurk, and yammer.  Each site offers different advantages.  Twitter has the largest userbase by far; identica is open-source and federated, jaiku is owned by google, has a threading feature and groups, and was started in Finland, plurk offers your updates in a time line style that allows for easy following of threads, and yammer is closed off for companies.  Which one you use will depend on what you need to do with it.

You can upate these services many ways.  I’ve already mentioned SMS, but you can update with your IM client (add a “bot” that allows you to get and receive messages in your chat client), the web (go to the site directly), a third-party program (posty, twhirl, gwibber, or many of the other updaters; many are available on the Adobe AIR platform and many are cross-platform), or something like ping.fm.  Ping allows you to update all of your services at once so you don’t have to go to each site and update individually.  It doesn’t allow for replies, however, so you still need to go to the site or run a client to carry on a conversation.

This is also a good way to aggregate your digg, delicious, and full blog posts together so your followers don’t need multiple RSS feeds from you to see what you’re up to.

Miniblogging

Miniblogging is mostly tumblr, but facebook can be lumped under the “miniblogging” umbrella.

Basically, miniblogging is a longer post than a tweet/dent, but shorter than a “full” blog post; most are about a paragraph or so that focus on only one topic and briefly.  It’s usually a multi-media affair (links to videos on youtube, pictures and the like).  The focus is on short posts with little-to-no commentary.

Tumblr is a good way to aggregate your “full” blog as well.  Feed the links to the longer posts into the shorter format, and people will click through to find out what you have to say.

This format is good for an artist, someone who does webcomics, a musician, or a photographer to get their work out to the world.

This format is also great for quotes and snippets of information; much like a virtual scrapbook.

Blogging

Blogging is what you’re reading right now; longer, more thought out posts with multiple paragraphs, sections and ideas.  There is also more explanation of the topic at hand, many times with references of research.

Many times there are fewer links for links sake (I try to keep the links down in my posts… this one is an exception…).

Blogging is like an online diary or journal that allows the writer to express their ideas in a long-ish format.

Many blogs have a certain topic (tech, food, crafts, knitting, life-hacking, work, writing, etc) that they adhere too.  My blog is a mish-mash of stuff I like and do, as you can very well see!

Lifestreaming

This brings everything all together.  You can use friendfeed to aggregate all of this information together into one spot (online radio like last.fm, digg, delicious, tumblr, blog posts, twitter/identica/plurk/yammer/linkedin/etc.  Basically, you can use it as a way to show what you do online.  People can subscribe to your feed and see what music you like, what youtube videos you like, etc.

It’s a simple way to see what somebody is like… What they like, what they dislike, what they say and how they act online.

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Hope this took care of any questions you might have had about the differences between these types of web content.

Go to my “About Me” link to the right and see what all I’ve been up to!

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