The appeal of microblogging is both its immediacy and portability. Posts are brief (typically 140 – 200 characters) and can be written or received with a variety of computing devices, including cell phones. Although most microblog broadcasts are posted as text, some microblogging services allow video or audio posts.
Microblogging is slowly moving into the mainstream. In the United States, for example, Presidential candidate Barack Obama microblogged from the campaign trail using Twitter, one of the most popular microblogging services. Traditional media organizations, including The New York Times and the BBC, have begun to send headlines and links in microblog posts. Other potential applications of microblogging include traffic and sports updates and emergency broadcast systems.
In microblogging, also referred to as themed IM (Instant Messaging), users write brief updates, usually limited to less than 200 characters, and publish them via a web browser based service, email or mobile devices. Popular microblogging services include:
The practical usefulness of many microblogging services depends on the individual user creating and interacting with a Personal Learning Network [PLN] of professional colleagues.