I have been trying my hand at Twitter for the last few days and have found the experience fascinating.
If blogging is akin to an ODI game in cricket, and anything longer than a blog post comparable to Test cricket, Twitter is the T20 equivalent of writing. As in cricket, switching from one format to another requires a complete change of mindset. Not all can manage this transition well.
A blogger whose posts I used to like quite a bit, proved to be a crashing bore when he took to writing columns. He simply struggled to expand on his ideas and tended to ramble. When he became more ambitious and wrote a novel, I couldn’t get past the first few pages. He is now into Twitter too, but mercifully uses it only to provide links to his columns which I don’t read anyway. Clearly ODI is his forte and he should stick to it. Not for him the T20 game or Test cricket.
Even among famous authors, very few have excelled in both formats- the novel and the short story. I have found Somerset Maugham very good in both. P.G.Wodehouse was another. Arthur C Clarke, Roald Dahl, Ray Bradbury were brilliant with their short stories, but their longer ones or full-length novels failed to grip me.
At Landmark, the other day, I came across this book called Twitterature in which several classic stories have been retold in a series of Twitter-style messages ( about 20-30 of them per story). I believe that there’s also a book written solely in text-message format. Tailor-made for the limited-attention-span generation of today.