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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