Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Build good writing habits on Facebook, Twitter

Good stuff from Poynter's Roy Peter Clark about writing well on social networks. As usual, he turns what can be seen as a problem (in this case, character limits) into an opportunity. Excerpt:

...all readers and writers have experience with even smaller containers for good writing: a journal entry, a haiku, a telegram, an epitaph for a gravestone, a love message on one of those candy valentine hearts, the chorus of a song. Back in the day, headline writers counted available spaces per line, and poets still count syllables. Writers on Twitter and Facebook just happen to count characters (or to have characters counted for them by The Machine.)
This is a good thing. Any metric of length forces a discipline on the writer.


  1. Thanks for calling attention to my essays on writing for social networks. My wife just put out a dish of those little Valentine candies with the corny sayings on them. Looks to me like they can contain no more than 10 characters, which makes a tweet look like an epic. Cheers. -- Roy Peter Clark

  2. You're welcome. Sorry it took so long for the comment to go up.

    Speaking of those candies: If we're now figuring out how to tell a story in 140 characters, someone's got to take a run at telling a story in 10.