Honey, I shrunk the Blog

In the past couple years it seems everyone has decided that the cool thing to do these days is to Tweet or Plurk. If you are unfamiliar with those terms, just Google or Bing them. For almost a decade now, blogging has been a mainstream part of the Internet experience. Blogging was able to turn everyone from your boss at work to your elderly next door neighbor into popular journalists by allowing easy publication of content, no matter how trivial it may be, like this blog for example. Micro-blogging, which has been around since 2006-2007, is the natural evolution of blogging. Just like the size of your mobile phone continues to shrink after each new purchase, so too has blogging. Think of micro-blogging site as a mini-blog of 140-150 character updates that are published to be viewed by anyone, a limited group, or a targeted person. These updates can take the form of text, audio or video. Mico-blogging has emerged over the past year and the most popular way to dole out messages to a targeted audience. These “micro-posts” (or “tweets” or “plurks” depending on the platform used) can be made public on a Web site and/or distributed to a private group of subscribers. Subscribers can read micro-blog posts online or request that updates be delivered in real time to their desktop as an instant message or sent to a mobile device. The following is the top five micro-blogging sites: Twitter: Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as  tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as  followers. Friendfeed: Friendfeed is second place when compared to Twitter, but its real time aggregator combines the best of instant messaging and microblogging. It consolidates the updates from social bookmarking websites, blogs and micro-blogging, social media and social networking websites. Tumblr: Tumblr is another big rival of Twitter. This blogging platform allows users to post text, images, video, links, quotes, and audio to their tumblelog, a short-form blog. The service emphasizes customizability and ease of use. Plurk: Plurk is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send updates (otherwise known as  plurks) through short messages or links, which can be up to 140 text characters in length. Jaiku: Jaiku provides a smooth and easy to use interface, as well as containing more web 2.0 components than Twitter. It is a popular work-place service since it allows a smaller size limit post over Twitter. Public relations strategies are starting to use micro-blogging as a way to reach targeted audiences with a short and concise message. For example, the US Embassy in Beijing provides hourly micro-blog updates via the popular platform Twitter of the city’s current air quality. Companies and PR agencies can utilize these tools to direct targeted messages to these groups. These messages, in turn, can be reposted by users, which can spread like wildfire among users. With some users having over 1 million followers, it is obvious that micro-blogging could be the next uncharted PR gold-mine. For more information on how you can tap into the potential of SNS in China, email us at pr@eastwestpr.com or contact our consultant.

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