You have a microblog and you don’t even know it.

That’s right — if you have a common social media account then you are in fact the proud owner of a microblog! But what is it you ask? Read on and I shall tell you all about it through my own personal experience.

Ellie Munford
6 min readJan 4, 2021

With studies confirming our ever dwindling ability to concentrate on tasks and activities, it appears that writing short and sweet updates summarising your point are becoming the new normal since the information is broken down into more digestible chunks. However, longer articles tend to rank higher on Google and generate more ‘clicks’ (website visits) because this kind of writing is more comprehensive and so better equipped to solve the searcher’s intent.

So how do you reconcile these two ideas? The answer my friends, lies in microblogging.

A microblog is a new phrase that embraces social media sites as a way to make small (micro), regular updates (blogs). The clue is in the name people!

“A microblogging service is an online platform for posting small messages to the internet in chronological sequence.” Michelle Zappavigna

Think Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc. It is a form of blogging that lets you write concise updates about news stories, current events or even your own life (for anyone that’s interested) whilst you are out and about. These updates are then shared over the web for short audience interactions.

According to research, there are 3.81 billion people that use social media worldwide in 2020, which is almost double up from 2015! With that many users posting every second of every day, it’s no wonder smaller pieces of information are more likely to be taken up by your audience and these platforms are designed to make it as easy as possible for you to create and share content.

What are the benefits of a Microblog?

A microblogging strategy is a crucial method for building and maintaining relationships with modern, mobile audiences. Some of the benefits include:

  • Less time developing content: It can be difficult to continually create lengthy content that engages an audience. Microblogs are useful in this instance because a short and snappy post maintains the relationship with your followers in between the longer and more detailed blog, video and infographic posts.
  • Frequent posts: Consistency is key. Microblogging allows people and companies to share shorter content faster. This creates a more conversational tone which encourages interaction from followers through likes, replies and comments.
  • Real-time posts: In a continually changing and fast-paced environment, microblogging enables the sharing of time-sensitive information. A quick tweet or instagram story update tells your audience about breaking news and other crucial events happening right at that moment.
  • Catching reader attention: Online platforms encourage users to include images, GIFs and videos in their posts to grab a reader’s attention. Colours and moving images make the post stand out amongst other text so they make a great addition to your feed.
Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

My experience with Microblogging

A couple of months ago I set up 3 new social media accounts with the aim of sharing news updates and relevant journalism content with my audiences through regular posts, polls and images all in short, catchy snippets. I now have a Twitter, Instagram, and a Facebook page which are updated pretty much every day as news breaks or when I come across a really interesting article. As previously mentioned, these are all microblogging platforms and as always, links to my own accounts are at the bottom of each blog post so do have a look and hopefully you find some interesting stories and content!

In addition to sharing and commenting on other works on similar topics, I have also found it stimulating to engage in discussions on posts about particular stories in the media through the replies or comments section. This was most interesting on Twitter where I commented showing support for a post by the UN Women’s Twitter account about having more female Heads of State. To my surprise I was asked questions about why I thought women in politics were so few in comparison to men and how we can change this. Albeit the accounts were run by men who appeared to be trying to catch me out but through polite and intellectual conversation we both arrived at similar conclusions having had an opportunity to understand another point of view. It dawned on me that having the ability to engage with other users interested in similar topics enables us to expand our knowledge and gets us to think about ideas and events from a new perspective. We don’t necessarily have to agree with this perspective but it is important that we are regularly exposed to different thought processes and opinions so we can rationalise and come to our own conclusions.

What has been really enjoyable for me is being able to personalise the content I share on my account to convey a sense of individuality and identity. This was most obvious on instagram since it is fundamentally a visual, image sharing platform. Where I would normally share in a paragraph my thoughts on a particular matter, I have learned to manipulate this information into a visual format and present news in an altogether different way. For example, I created 5 stories saved under the highlights button ‘COVID-19’ to tackle common misconceptions surrounding the pandemic. Instead of bullet pointing the information, I made each fact its own story, complete with text, description, images and GIFs to grab reader attention and keep them interested.

Twitter in particular has taught me how to condense my thoughts and really analyse large pieces of information so that my post will focus on the most important ideas whilst still sounding interesting enough to read, all within a predetermined character limit. This was a difficult skill to master as I had to be more articulate with my language and I have been known to waffle, especially if I am passionate about a topic! However, it is absolutely crucial in today’s media market as short and sweet becomes the new normal.

The most difficult element of the experience for me, has been negotiating feelings of guilt for not regularly checking my news feeds, combined with a guilt that I am on my phone or the internet too much. My screen time has gone up 52% since I started and I am constantly being told by family members to put my phone down and enjoy the ‘real’ world. In an age where so much of our lives are lived through a screen, it can be difficult to allow ourselves to switch off for fear of missing out on important news updates. To try and combat this I would set aside time when I woke up to check and update my journalism accounts with breaking stories and updates from that morning in addition to my normal social media routine. I’d also make sure I checked my news feeds again later on in the day if I had time to spare.

Follow the links below to my other accounts for more on journalism and other related topics to keep up to date!

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Ellie Munford

Blogger | Conversationalist | Feminist | Digital journalism should be your primary source of news — Change my mind?