Twittered Away

by Zoë Pollock

Felix Salmon puts an interesting spin on the spat between Glenn Greenwald and Wired's Kevin Poulsen over chat logs between Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning and informant Adrian Lamo:

What we’re seeing here is the professionalization of the blogosphere Greenwald and Poulsen both get paid to blog, as do I and the way in which that has led to the less journalistic parts of blogging moving over to the informal and freewheeling venue of Twitter. ...

This development is not, in my mind, a good thing.

It robs from the blogosphere much of its naturally conversational element, which has largely moved to Twitter. Back in 2004 or so, it was easy to follow debates back and forth between blogs just by clicking on links; now, it’s much harder, and professional blogs are much more likely to link to straight news stories or just break news themselves than they are to link to other bloggers. Discussions and debates on Twitter aren’t archived in the way that they were on blogs, and they’re functionally impossible to search for if you’re more than a few months away from the event.

This particular debate is big and loud enough that bloggers are following it, archiving it, and linking to important tweets. But most Twitter discussions never reach that level, and therefore will disappear in a way that blog discussions never did.