Blogging vs. Twitter: A Different Kind of Commitment

Talking with Michael O’Connor Clarke the other day, we both commented on a trend we’ve both observed recently:

Corporations seem to be much more willing to sign-up for Twitter than they are to set up blogs.

We’re seeing companies big and small signing up for Twitter; from Ford, General Motors, Southwest Airlines and Dell to smaller companies like Natura Mattresses and Freshbooks (check out this list of organizations on Twitter).

This isn’t always intuitive. While some companies see the inherent value and potential in communicating directly with their customers, many others are are afraid of it. It’s unpredictable, it’s often not on the topics that you want to talk about and, well, it’s something new for many organizations. So, something must be making the difference.

Of course, we have to remember that social media as a genre of tools is much more advanced, high-profile and, to an extent, accepted than it was a few years ago when blogging first broke. However, that hasn’t helped podcasting become mainstream news the way that Twitter has over the last few months.

Is something else making the difference?


Is Twitter less of a time commitment than blogging?

As with so many things, it depends.

If you, or your organization, uses Twitter extensively, it may not be less of a time commitment than blogging. However, it certainly is a different type of commitment.

Writing a blog post takes a solid block of time – you need to set aside anywhere from 20 minutes to a couple of hours for the process, depending on the kind of post you’re writing. Many of my posts here take upwards of 90 minutes to pull together. That can turn blogging into a big black hole for your time.

Twitter is a different kind of commitment. Each post takes just little time. That can give Twitter the appearance of requiring much less of a commitment than writing a “traditional” blog.

In reality that’s not necessarily the case. Many people post multiple times per day. What’s more, as a company representative on Twitter, you need to put a little more thought into what you write. That can make it just as time consuming over the course of a day as blogging. 

Still, is the perception that Twitter takes less of a time commitment leading to companies engaging more readily through it?

What’s your take?