The Banality of Personal Life and Where Twitter Comes In

Thinking about Twitter and Ross Mayfield's idea about the messaging of the mundane.
Heather Green

Fred Wilson writes today about how he wants to keep a personal dimension to his blog, though he's been filtering more and more of his personal life out of his blog. Part of his answer is this quandry is to use Twitter more.

I thought immediately of a conversation that I had with Ross Mayfield a month or so ago for a story about Twitter that really struck me. He described one of the powerful aspects of Twitter, what he called the messaging of the mundane.

Mayfield commented that Twitter allows you to share things in a way that actually lets you protect your privacy. Little mundane things are interesting and important to folks depending on who the information is coming from. Twittering that you're sick and sleepy, for instance, gives a stranger a sense that you're sharing something with them, which you are. But it's mundane, less personal detail, that nevertheless, tells a little bit about yourself. For a collegue or friend, though, knowing that you're sick but still at work may explain why you're crabby.

It reminds me of the kinds of details writers, either fiction or non fiction try to gather about the people or scenes they're writing about. Pull enough of them together, and you do get a sense of who that person is, without actually having to know how much they sold their house for or what their daughter looks like.

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