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Microblogging

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Microblogging

We live in a day and age where we expect to get information fast, and to have that information broken down into easily digestible snippets. We sometimes want to be able to share stories or thoughts without taking the time to write an entire article. This is where the concept of microblogging comes into play. There are a handful of platforms that use microblogs to share information, some of which you probably already use. We will look at some examples of microblog platforms in the following sections.

Microblogging definition

A microblog is a short piece of writing, videos, pictures, or gifs designed for quick and easy interactions. Posts are usually short, around 300 words or less. They’re posted more frequently than a traditional blog post – sometimes multiple times per day.

Microblogging platforms may be used to share articles, products, or fundraisers. This type of sharing is popular on apps you’re probably familiar with – Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. There is no requirement to use these platforms and start your own microblog. You can choose any of them, but using multiple platforms is common.

Microblogging, Microblogging Apps Social Media, StudySmarterMicroblogging Apps Social Media, Pixabay

The difference between blogs and microblogs

Microblogging differs from regular blogging in a number of ways. Blogging is usually going to consist of long-form content. This means that posts are at least a thousand words, but there's no limit to how long they can be.

Blog posts are going to be more comprehensive simply because they have more words. Blogging goes in depth with stories or instructional content, while microblogging – usually meant to be read on your mobile phone – tends to stay significantly shorter.

Some microblogging platforms have a character limit that keeps posts intentionally short. This helps keep people engaged with the content posted. These shorter posts are designed to be interactive, personable, and relatable. You can use emojis freely in any microblog post.

One disadvantage of microblogging is that you don’t own the platform that you post on like you would on a blogging platform, i.e. you own www.yourbloggingwebsite.com. This means that every post on your microblogging platform could be removed at any time if a company like Twitter decides to take down your content.


Here is a table to help you easily remember the differences between blogging and microblogging.

Microblog
Long entries -- over a thousand wordsShorter posts -- less than three hundred words
Article-like postsHeadline-like entries
Weekly or monthly postsFrequent posts, sometimes multiple times a day
Website that shares information about a related topicCommon on social apps (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)
You can own your own blog and contentThe platforms owns the microblog and content

Personal versus business microblogs

Microblogs are designed to be interactive so that people can quickly interact with posts. This is beneficial for both personal and business accounts.

A personal microblog is used for many reasons. Some allow you to share personal stories or updates in a shorter format than a traditional blog, some cater to sharing images and videos of hobbies, and some are for posting short little thoughts you may have. Posts can be just a few words too, especially if it's just for a quick update.

Many companies nowadays use an online platform to promote their business. Using a microblogging platform can be very useful for networking. Since people spend a lot of time on social apps; it is an easy place for businesses to grow an audience and build a good rapport with their potential clients.

These microblogging platforms usually have business accounts available where businesses can pay for ads and marketing to reach a larger audience.

Different microblogging platforms

Microblogging platforms are really common and are used every day by millions of people around the world. They can be incredibly useful because you have the option to add links or videos to these platforms.

This makes it easier to share shorter posts and still give enough information to your readers – even if the character limit is 300 or under. Here are some of the most commonly used sites and the purposes for which they're used.

Microblogging: Facebook

You might use Facebook as a personal microblog platform instead of a blog platform to keep your friends and family members in the loop on your day to day activities. It can be used to quickly share updates on natural disasters, sports, political or local events going on around you. A Facebook status update might look something like this:

Update! We are all safe after the windstorm last night! Thanks everyone for checking in on us!

Facebook is popular for businesses because so many people use this platform. It can save on marketing costs and help a business reach a lot more people by posting updates, events, and products.

Microblogging: Instagram

Instagram is similar to a blog format, only shorter. It's used to share common interests, hobbies, and photos.

A business can use it as a platform to promote products or sales. The image and content below are examples of what might be shared by a business on this platform.

Microblogging, Instagram Microblog for Business, StudySmarterInstagram Microblog for Business, StudySmarter Originals

We’ve got a new product just in time for Mother's Day!

Check out this cute mug. This design is sure to

melt her heart this year. Order this perfect gift for

mom now, before it's too late!

Click the link in our bio to purchase. #mothersday

#gifts #cutemugs #holidays

Microblogging: Twitter

Twitter is often used to post random thoughts or ideas by a personal user. Businesses might use it for quick communication or to share links to their longer articles. These posts are easily re-sharable or "retweeted" so that a lot of people can see what was posted.

Microblogging, Twitter as a Personal Microblog, StudySmarterTwitter as a Personal Microblog, StudySmarter Originals, Tweetgen

Microblogging examples

As we mentioned in the introduction, you are probably aware of – or already use – microblogging platforms. Below you will see some microblogging samples that can go on popular platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Microblogging, Instagram Microblog Post, StudySmarterInstagram Microblog Post, StudySmarter Originals

In this first example, the picture and commentary is suited for Instagram.

The microblog isn't complete unless it has some sort of comment underneath the image. This is where you could share the recipe and hashtags. We'll talk about the purpose of hashtags later.

Ingredients

.

.

.

Two 8oz salmon filets

Three large green tomatoes

Pink himalayan salt

Fresh Parsley

Italian seasoning

Olive oil

Instructions

.

.

.

Place salmon and quartered

tomatoes in baking dish. Liberally

apply olive oil. Sprinkle with salt,

Italian seasoning, and a few sprigs

of parsley. Roast in the oven on

broil for 25 minutes.

#healthyfoods #cookingathome

#friedgreentomatoes #fishdish

In this second example, a business is using a Tweet to promote a product and uses hashtags to help users find their page easier.

Microblogging, Business on Twitter Example, StudySmarterBusiness on Twitter Example, StudySmarter Originals, Tweetgen, Pixabay

Microblogging and the News

Several journalism sites use Twitter or other microblogging platforms to share headlines and links to their articles. This is a great way to alert the masses about breaking world events. Some news outlets that use microblogging are The BBC, New York Times, and Al Jazeera.

A problem that can arise with getting news from microblogging platforms is being able to figure out if the news sites being shared are credible. This is why microblogs are only considered news sources if they fit the criteria for journalism: verification, independence, and accountability.1

The connection between microblogging and social media

If you use any social media platforms, you probably have plenty of experience in microblogging. The combination of the two has changed the way we share information. Remember that microblogging is useful to share things quickly and to a broad audience. There are tools that microblogging platforms have so your content can be found even easier. One tool you’re probably familiar with is hashtags. Hashtags allow users to find posts that fall under the same tag. So if you’re looking for pictures of a recent local event, you might search for #localevent or #event. Hashtags used on microblog platforms get exponentially more traffic to those posts.

Microblogging, Social Media and Microblogs, StudySmarterMicroblogs and Social Media, Pixabay

Here are some popular social media platforms that are considered microblog platforms:

  • Twitter

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Tumblr

  • Pinterest

  • TikTok

  • LinkedIn

  • Snapchat

Private microblogging and what you can use it for

Twitter is a great app to use if you want to publicly reach many people at once, or have your post shared quickly and easily. If you don’t want to share posts publicly though, Twitter might not be the right platform to use. Some microblogging platforms have private messaging options so that you don’t have to post messages to friends publicly if you don’t want to. You can create group messages so that more than one person can be reached as well.Another reason you might want a private platform is if you're in a classroom environment. Teachers, administrators, and students may wish to use a private microblogging platform that allows only members to see posts.

This allows members to post short messages that would be related to sensitive school related content. Businesses can also create private microblogging accounts for all employees as well. This keeps posts and articles private within the company.Platforms for Private Microblogging

  • Yammer

  • Swabr

  • Social Media Private Messaging

    • Instagram

    • Facebook

    • Snapchat

  • Social Media Private Profiles

    • These types of platforms allow a you to make your profile private. So if you have a Twitter account, even though it is traditionally a public platform, you can choose make it private.

Microblogging has changed the way we share information around the world. With such short messages, it leaves you room to create even more content than you would with a regular blog.

These platforms can help you get your name out there if you're just starting your online presence too. You don’t even have to have a computer -- you can access a microblog anytime, anywhere, so long as you have your smartphone.

Microblogging - Key takeaways

  • Microblogging is a short piece of content that is designed for quick interactions
  • Microblogs are different from blogs because they are shorter and aimed towards mobile phone users
  • There is a usually a character limit of under three hundred words per post
  • Microblogging is used on common social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
  • Hashtags are helpful when trying to share your information

1. Sissel McCarthy, What is microblogging, and is it considered news if it has an audience and reports on real events? 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions about Microblogging

Microblogging is a short piece of content designed for quick interactions.

A blog has longer, more comprehensive content. A microblog is shorter and designed for mobile users.

Anyone can microblog if you have a smartphone or tablet. All you need is a microblogging platform like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook.

A microblogging site is anywhere that you can post microblog content. It's usually on a social media app like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Microblogging is used for personal use, business promotion, or news.

Final Microblogging Quiz

Question

True or False 

Blogs are the same length as microblogs

Show answer

Answer

False -- a blog is much longer than a microblog

Show question

Question

Are microblogs for personal use only?

Show answer

Answer

No -- Businesses and news outlets use them too. 

Show question

Question

Which of these is not a microblogging platform?

Show answer

Answer

Wix

Show question

Question

What is a hashtag?

Show answer

Answer

A hashtag is a symbol you can use in a microblog to enable a topic to be searched for. It also helps a post gain more views. 

Show question

Question

Which of these doesn't represent journalism?

Show answer

Answer

Stamp of approval

Show question

Question

Is Twitter a private platform?

Show answer

Answer

It can be -- Twitter is a public platform, but you can make your profile private if you want.

Show question

Question

What is a reason someone would want a private microblogging platform?

Show answer

Answer

Educational environments

Show question

Question

Are any social media microblogs private?

Show answer

Answer

Yes -- social media microblogs usually have a private messaging feature and have the ability to make their profiles private.

Show question

Question

Do you only have to post words to a microblog?

Show answer

Answer

No -- You can post gifs, articles, photos, etc.

Show question

Question

True or False

A microblog isn't useful for current events

Show answer

Answer

False -- microblogs help people stay in the know about immediate issues such as weather, political issues, or community events

Show question

Question

How many characters is acceptable for a microblog?

Show answer

Answer

all of the above

Show question

Question

How often should you post to a microblog?

Show answer

Answer

As often as you want, but it's designed for daily use.

Show question

Question

True or False

You own your microblog

Show answer

Answer

False -- The platform owns your microblog and all your content

Show question

Question

Can a microblog platform erase your posts?

Show answer

Answer

Yes because you don't own the microblog

Show question

Question

You might use a microblog platform for which of the following

Show answer

Answer

dog pictures, news articles, life updates

Show question

Question

What is alt-text short for?

Show answer

Answer

Alternative text

Show question

Question

How does a search engine use alt-text?

Show answer

Answer

A search engine like Google uses alt-text as an alternative way to interpret an image. 

Show question

Question

What is alt-text?

Show answer

Answer

Alt-text is a simple, written description of an image hidden from the reader.

Show question

Question

Does alt-text influence a search engine on a simple (non-image) search?

Show answer

Answer

In a simple search, Google will utilize a mixture of things to find relevant images, and alt-text can help you appear more relevant to Google.

Show question

Question

Can your reader visually see your alt-text?

Show answer

Answer

No

Show question

Question

"Your reader can see your alt-text, not your image caption."

True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False. It's the other way around.

Show question

Question

What does SEO stand for?

Show answer

Answer

Search engine optimization.

Show question

Question

What is SEO?

Show answer

Answer

Search engine optimization, also called SEO, is a methodology to rank higher within a search engine.

Show question

Question

What are the three parts of a good alt-text?

Show answer

Answer

The name of your post, a description of your image, and your name or brand.

Show question

Question

How should you use capitalization and punctuation in your alt-text?

Show answer

Answer

Properly, in order to be accessible to text-to-speech readers.

Show question

Question

"Don't worry about spelling in your alt-text."

True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False.

Show question

Question

Think of alt-text as the caption of your image, except less focused on _____ and more focused on _____.

Show answer

Answer

Engagement, content

Show question

Question

How does alt-text increase accessibility to your blog?

Show answer

Answer

Alt-text is important for those who rely on listening to your blog with text-to-speech software, rather than reading its visual elements. This group of people includes those who are blind, have limited vision, or simply those who prefer listening.

Show question

Question

How often should your images contain alt-text?

Show answer

Answer

Always.

Show question

Question

What is this example of alt-text missing?

[Dead malls of Kentucky. Dead mall interior.]

Show answer

Answer

The name or brand at the end.

Show question

Question

What is another name for a photo caption?

Show answer

Answer

An image caption

Show question

Question

Where is an image caption generally located?

Show answer

Answer

Directly underneath an image.

Show question

Question

What is considered an image on a blog or academic essay?

Show answer

Answer

A photo, drawing, diagram, piece of art, or anything else rendered in an image file format.

Show question

Question

Which of these is not a reason to caption your image?

Show answer

Answer

To argue your image

Show question

Question

How do you "clarify" an image using an image caption?

Show answer

Answer

Explain what that diagram means to your blog or argument if you include a diagram. If you include a photo of a place, specify that place and time.

Show question

Question

When should you clarify an image using a caption?

Show answer

Answer

Any image you include that might be unclear to the audience needs a caption.

Show question

Question

What kind of context can you add to enhance an image?

Show answer

Answer

Emotional context. You can make an image more dramatic or sadder with a caption, but captions are especially good at adding humor to an image.

Show question

Question

What is the goal of enhancing an image with a caption?

Show answer

Answer

When enhancing an image, you want to make it more amusing and engaging to your audience.

Show question

Question

"You should caption every image in your blog."

True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False. Don’t feel the need to enhance every image you add! Some images stand better independently, and groups of images might appear bulky if you caption each one. However, if the picture is not yours, you will need to cite it.

Show question

Question

When can you not cite an image you don't own?

Show answer

Answer

Never.

Show question

Question

What is SEO?

Show answer

Answer

Search engine optimization.

Show question

Question

How does captioning an image improve SEO?

Show answer

Answer

Because captions stick out, people naturally read captions while scanning a blog. If you have no captions, readers will not have captions to scan, and you will lose that avenue of accessibility.

Show question

Question

Which of these do you not need in a complete MLA image caption citation (no works cited section)?

Show answer

Answer

Place where image was made

Show question

Question

"If you have a works cited page, your MLA and APA image caption citations will be longer."

True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False. They will be shorter.

Show question

Question

What do you need in a complete APA image caption citation (no works cited section)?

Show answer

Answer

Figure number, caption, description, the title of the website, the artist or photographer, year created, URL, copyright year, copyright holder, disclaimer

Show question

Question

What is a heading?

Show answer

Answer

A heading is a phrase that writers use to succinctly describe the following topic of a text.


Show question

Question

Which of the following is a proper heading? 

Show answer

Answer

Best Beaches in Greece

Show question

Question

Which of the following is a topic heading? 


Show answer

Answer

Beaches

Show question

Question

True or False. Headings are only in academic research papers. 


Show answer

Answer

False. Writers of all kinds of texts like blogs and websites frequently use headings to organize their writing. 


Show question

Question

What is a subheading? 


Show answer

Answer

Smaller headings that divide a topic into multiple sectiions

Show question

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