Twitter is an extension of a blogger’s personality. As a micro-blogging site, it’s there for us when we can’t write a lengthy blog post about a TV show we watch or what our plans are for the day. Its 140-character limit requires us to be succinct, allowing us to perfect the best versions of ourselves. Twitter is one of the few social media sites which allows us to be both an individual and as part of a group, and that isn’t without its problems.
I’ve been involved in blogger Twitter chats for a long time now – most notably #lbloggers (a chat for lifestyle bloggers). As with any community, there are advantages and disadvantages to being part of a group. One of the main issues is that of a ‘group think’. Whilst we all have our own opinions – of course – we all have to agree on certain aspects of blogging in order to fit in – we like to feel included, right?
For example, we’re all expected to despise automated DMs on Twitter and hate ‘follow for a follow’, yet there are some people who disagree with this and still expect a follow back. Admittedly, I can be one of these people sometimes, and I’m open about that because I shouldn’t hide it, just to fit in the wider community.
Similarly, as much as most of us like to think that numbers and followers don’t reflect the quality of the blog (some great bloggers may have only a hundred followers, for example), I certainly feel like there is a hierarchy within the blogging community which is headed by those with rather high follow counts. This can have both positive and negative effects.
To some bloggers, it serves as a motivator, to strive to achieve similar success in terms of followers and interaction. However, it can fuel an obsession with numbers when a lot of people argue that it doesn’t – or shouldn’t – matter. In a post at the start of the year, I talked about new bloggers being influenced by numbers and stats, and I think this hierarchy is partly to blame for that. In an ideal world, I’d like to see a blogging community where numbers don’t matter or where there isn’t a sense of hierarchy. It may take time, or it may never come at all, but it’s a concept I like the sound of.
To further delve into the psychology of online communities and the ‘group think’, then you also have drama and controversy whenever someone goes against what everyone else thinks. I’ve seen some of it online for myself and it’s quite uncomfortable and a tad hypocritical when the community is meant to be about positivity.
But then again, there is a smaller sense of community within blogging which is much more manageable. I’m of course talking about the small group of bloggers whom you talk to more frequently than others. Unlike the wider blogosphere, you’re not bound by collective thinking and you can truly be an individual. However, as we mature and develop as bloggers, our blogger friendship groups change. We read fewer blog posts of theirs, comment less and never really interact on Twitter. It becomes awkward and then sooner or later, we unfollow them. It’s a cycle I’ve found myself trapped in for a very long time.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved Twitter as a platform – both personally and from a blogging perspective. I’m a big fan of Twitter chats as well. I just think that there are some aspects of the blogging community on Twitter which need to be changed. Blogging is all about sharing opinions and these should be individual and our own.
What do you think about Twitter? Do you like it as a social media site? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below!