Tweeting vs. Blogging

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On February 5th, 2004, I wrote my first Tweet. This was before Twitter, so it wasn’t an actual Tweet, but it may as well have been: I’d just gotten the news that CNN was coming over to my apartment to do a segment about my Janet Jackson Breast Cupcakes. I wrote a post called BREAKING NEWS!!! that said: “CNN IS COMING OVER TOMORROW TO DO A STORY ON MY JANET JACKSON BREAST CUPCAKES! THIS IS NOT A JOKE! I REPEAT, CNN IS COMING OVER TOMORROW! THE STORY WILL AIR MONDAY NIGHT!”

Granted, this was 32 characters too long to be an actual Tweet, but the spirit of it was certainly Twitteresque. In fact, the spirit of my blog, in general, before Twitter was so Twitter-like that now that Twitter’s here, it’s hard to know what’s blogworthy and what best belongs on Twitter.

For those not in the know (but how, at this point, could you not be?) Twitter is a phenomenon that’s taking the country–world, rather–by storm. You make an account at twitter.com and then you start Tweeting: little posts of no more than 140 characters.

Believe me when I say, it’s addictive. It’s so addictive that I spend more time Tweeting now than I do blogging. Is this bad? Is this good? What does this mean?

Well, for starters, it means that if you want me to entertain you throughout the day, simply click www.twitter.com/amateurgourmet and select “subscribe” and you will know more about me and my habits than even my closest relatives.

It also means that you’ll get content that isn’t filtered in any way. So, for example, the posts you see below this on my blog: the Gourmet Tuna Casserole, the brunch at Irving Mill, the Marmite video— I spent time selecting those as blog-worthy. Whereas, my Tweet about dessert at Rocco’s on Bleecker Street with Lisa? It was just an in-the-moment kind of thing, and so was this Twitpic:

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And this Twitpic of my favorite take-out dish in Park Slope–the Wok-Seared Udon Noodles at Longtan:

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Neither of these Tweets were going to make it on the blog: Rocco’s, while good, has never really inspired me to write a post; and the Wok-Seared Udon Noodles? Well maybe one day I’ll try to make them myself at home and maybe THAT will be a post, but just the ones I get from take out? Probably not.

So Twitter has become a repository for all things instant and off-the-cuff, while my blog is more like an official publication of Adam’s Dietary Habits. In many ways, this is a good thing: it means that my blog is more polished and respectable. It has, however, lost a little spontaneity. But if you want spontaneity, then you can just follow me on Twitter.

The other delightful thing about Twitter is that I find myself Tweeting to an audience of food world luminaries. The fact that Ruth Reichl (who Tweets as @ruthreichl) responded to our scavenger hunt results and asked, “No guys participated? I’m fairly stunned. What does that mean, I wonder. Any ideas?” is pretty mind-blowing. And then there are all the luminaries that are just a @-sign away: Grant Achatz, Rick Bayless, Dorie Greenspan, Paula Wolfert, Martha Stewart, Amanda Hesser, John T. Edge, Michael Ruhlman, Kim Severson, the list goes on and on.

Plus, there’s food bloggers galore: The Wednesday Chef, Orangette, 101 Cookbooks, Midtown Lunch, Serious Eats, Adam Kuban, The Girl Who Ate Everything, The Food Section, Ed Levine, Simply Recipes, David Lebovitz, Chocoate & Zucchini, Ben Leventhal, Vanilla Garlic, Chez Pim, Smitten Kitchen, MattBites and so on and so on and so on… phew… if I left anyone out, please forgive me!

So, in conclusion, there’s a place for Twitter and there’s a place for blogging. One’s like a chatroom, the other’s like a magazine. Can you read a magazine in a chatroom? Of course. Can you chat while reading a magazine? Absolutely. Thus, in the battle of Twitter vs. Blogging there are no losers: well, perhaps my sanity. Does Twitter make you crazy? Now that’s something to Tweet about.

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18 comments

  1. Adam,

    This is a great post. I’m a huge proponent of Twitter and often hear about great posts, news (earthquake reported in California before the papers ever get to it), and interesting people whose blogs I should be reading. I definitely don’t think Twitter is a blog killer–I actually think that together, the two platforms offer an extremely powerful combination of information and entertainment.

  2. Too much Twitter and you get all jittery and start thinking only in short bursts, never long enough to have a complete thought. As you read the tweets, your brain jumps around to disconnected ideas and observations, unsatisfied, and you get all buzzy and unfocused. Soon you find yourself trembling in the corner, begging for more tweets… just enough to keep you going.

    Yeah, I Twitter. But I’m not proud of it.

  3. About two months ago during my first days on twitter when I was just a faceless brown square chirping my neophyte way blithely around the twittosphere I saw one of your tweets. Something about how you needed a job. I helpfully pointed out to you that you could always write for some food website since you seemed interested in eating. I can just imagine the look on your face while you were thinking “is this some strange sick joke?”

    You see, when I saw you ask @queenie_nyc for a place to eat I thought you were just some average shmoo bumbling around Manhattan looking for some chow-not some kinda-famous person that had a blog of his own. I was new to the game.

    So here is my official contrite apology. I’m sorry, I plead innocent dimness and a good heart. Tweeting to an audience of food-world non-luminaries can be treacherous I guess.

    As you see I found your blog now and have been enjoying it immensely as an adjunct to your tweets. If I promise to refrain form any more job tips I hope you can find it in heart to forgive me and add me to your fan club.

  4. Rocco’s has the best Black and White Cookies in the city. Also, in the summer time, they have (or used to have) AMAZING toasted almond Italian ice (cremolata, I want to say it’s called?). Also, the best hot cross buns I found. You should TOTALLY write about Rocco’s. When I moved away from NYC I took a day to wander around the city and take pictures of things I would miss. My favorite picture from that day is the half eaten Black and White from Rocco’s. I should Tweet that picture.

    I personally feel like my blog has a theme — cooking and recipes — and everything relates to the theme. Twitter is more a stream of consciousness, the me behind the food, though I did post my first TweetCP yesterday (recipes that are too short to merit their own blog post).

  5. Rocco’s has the best Black and White Cookies in the city. Also, in the summer time, they have (or used to have) AMAZING toasted almond Italian ice (cremolata, I want to say it’s called?). Also, the best hot cross buns I found. You should TOTALLY write about Rocco’s. When I moved away from NYC I took a day to wander around the city and take pictures of things I would miss. My favorite picture from that day is the half eaten Black and White from Rocco’s. I should Tweet that picture.

    I personally feel like my blog has a theme — cooking and recipes — and everything relates to the theme. Twitter is more a stream of consciousness, the me behind the food, though I did post my first TweetCP yesterday (recipes that are too short to merit their own blog post).

  6. Love Twitter. I was always aware of The Amateur Gourmet, but I wasn’t a regular reader until I started following you on Twitter. Turns out, I love Amateur Gourmet and now my RSS reader is all the richer for it. I discover at least one new blog to love per week on Twitter. Also, I work at home, alone, as do most freelance writers. So Twitter kind of fills the water cooler void. Blogging is more like an official (though fun) aspect of my work. Twitter and blogging can share the love.

  7. I love Twitter. My friend Kathleen likened it to “a text message to the universe” which I thought was a perfect explanation. I enjoy seeing what people are up to, I enjoy the timely updates on blog posts and news stories. It also allows us to see well-known/famous people as more human, because we see them doing the things that we all do. Martha Stewart bathing her dogs, for example, or David Lebovitz forgetting to add the sausage to a pasta recipe. It gives us something to relate to.

    Oh, and it also gives me something to play else with on my phone when I’m stuck in traffic. :)

  8. I’m sorry, I’ve tried to like twitter but I just don’t. I find most of those tweeting are doing it just to hear themselves tweet, and sometimes those tweets are giving out way too much information. Sure, occasionally you’ll come across some real information but I personally don’t have the time to keep checking tweets to see if there is anything going on. If something happens that’s important, my real friends will text me or I can read the whole story on CNN.

  9. Suggestion:

    Interesting things -> blog

    Mindless blather that no one cares about for more than 10 seconds – > twitter

    That way the net universe will stay in balance.

  10. I can’t figure out how people find time for anything else..blogging, email, surfing, twitting – and the blackberry even vibrates!!

    i hope someone is insane enough to count the population to see if the era of twittering will have an effect on the population in the years that twitter started and will subside…

    (do people work at jobs anymore?)

  11. Hi Adam,

    My name is Michelle Doellman and I am assistant publisher of a new newspaper called The Printed Blog. We are using the above post in our upcoming issue and are hoping we can use the images as well. Please let me know if this is okay at doellmi@yahoo.com. Thanks and we look forward to working with you!

    Sincerely,

    Michelle A. Doellman

    Assistant Publisher

    The Printed Blog