For most of a year I’ve been using Twitter Tools to link my blogs to Twitter, both announcing new blog posts on Twitter and creating digests of Twitter posts on the blog. The benefit of announcing blog updates on Twitter is obvious. Some of the reasons to pull things the other way include:
- It reminds your blog readers that you are on Twitter.
- You still have something new even when you can’t write a new post.
- You have your own archive, in case Twitter goes out of business, loses its data, or just won’t let you search old posts.
In cleaning up old digests, though, I’ve come to realize that some tweets just don’t offer much value as blog entries. Sometimes it’s redundancy, and sometimes it’s just that what’s posted just doesn’t stand up by itself.
Not Worth Blogging
Blog post announcements. – The actual content is already on your blog, so you don’t need an extra post linking back. Twitter Tools already filters out the ones it generates itself, but every once in a while I’ll make an “in case you missed it” tweet.
Conversation fragments. This is sort of like preserving half a phone call.
Pre-blog posts. – Sometimes I’ll post a brief thought on Twitter, then later that day (or week) I’ll expand on it. There’s not much point in keeping both the rough draft and the final.
Dead Links. – I’m really not sure what to do with these. The worst ones are the photo posts, since Phodroid seems to have either taken down or moved all its old content. When I post links to the blog I can usually add some commentary that’s worth preserving, but with Twitter you often don’t have room for both description and commentary, and you have to pick one. “This looks interesting” followed by a 404…isn’t interesting. Update: I realized I have the photos on my computer. So I just tracked the photos down by date, looked to see what fit the description, and uploaded the photo to the blog post.
At first I figured I’d switch this blog from a daily digest to a weekly one (like I do at Speed Force) so that the Twitter posts don’t clutter up the blog too badly. Then I realized that a daily digest does have an advantage: at the rate I usually post to Twitter, a daily post is more likely to consist of posts on a single theme.
I briefly considered adopting the weekly link round-up format used by Great White Snark: manually-selected highlights. It requires a little more work, but in the end it’s probably more valuable to blog readers than a full record of everything I’ve posted on another service.
For now, I think I’ll keep things the way they are both here and at Speed Force, but be a bit more aggressive on cleaning up the auto-generated digests. Here, that’ll probably include deleting the occasional post.