“I do solemnly swear (or affirm)
that I will faithfully execute the office
of President of the United States, and will,
to the best of my ability,
preserve, protect and defend
the Constitution of the United States …
and Tweet with the blabbbing public,
within 140 characters, of course.
White House Woot!”
Many social media “experts” and political journalists reported and (over)analyzed President Obama’s first Twitter Town Hall yesterday. If you missed it, you can check out the Town Hall’s Twitter page or read the full Town Hall transcript.
As we have stressed over and over again, like them or not, Twitter and Facebook are modern forms of communication that, in one form or another, are here to stay. So it’s only natural for political figures to utilize such “blabbb.” After all, politicians are often accused of talking much more than acting anyway. ;)
Instead of analyzing the pro’s and con’s of the President using techno communications to interact with the public, Blabbb ponders the question: Why do we use Twitter? More specifically, why have 200 million (yes, two hundred million!) people jumped aboard the Twitter bandwagon and agreed to communicate within the constraints of 140 characters?
Where did the 140 character limit come from? According to Dom Sagolla, one of the original employees
at founding company Odeo, Inc., the 140 character limit was, believe it or not, based on text messaging
. According to Sagolla, the standard text message length in most places is 160 characters per message, and Twitter reserves 20 characters for people’s names. That’s it. Nothing random about the 140 character limit; no Twitter conspiracy theory.
Obviously, the 140 character limit speaks volumes about our techno world, how we now (generally speaking) do not read anything more than a headline, let alone a full article or a full book.
Does the 140 character limit bother you? Are you troubled by future generations (let alone the younger generations now) who will grow up interacting and expressing themselves within such limited confines? Should expression be controlled like this?
Let us know what “you” (not “u”) think, Blabbbers …
And, yes, this blog post is 1881 characters long. So thank you for reading more than the first 140. ;)