Twitter Can’t Contain Us

As I’ve discussed before, (here and here in an exciting two-part series) I’m a bit conflicted about the microblogging service Twitter. On the one hand, such a small amount of content is allowed, that it is hard to make any coherent point. Yet, on the other hand the constant dripping of information as a whole does seem to have some sort of value. What the value is, however, is harder to quantify. As I start to consider this more, I hope to be able to offer better answers to this issue.

With this post, I want to let you know about an interesting Twitter tool that will help you get a little more content into your Tweets.

(By the way, I’ve created a Get Satisfaction post about the grammar of Twitter, which I would encourage you to get involved in, if such things interest you. Get Satisfaction is a new forum/customer service tool that many websites are starting to use, and may justify a later post on its own.)

This tool is called 140it at 140it.com. (It’s too bad they weren’t able to get the Italian domain 140.it.) It is actually pretty simple. You input the text you wish to shorten to 140 characters. It churns through it taking out vowels and using numbers for particular sounds until you get something that is 140 characters.

This is a test to see how much I can get into this silly thing before my tweet becomes to long. Then it will really be ridiculous because it will be represented a lot more characters.

Becomes

This is a tst 2 see how mch I can get in2 ths slly thng b4 my twt bcms 2 lng. Then it’ll rly be rdcls bc it’ll be rprsntd a lot mr chrctrs.

And

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Becomes

4 scr & 7 yrs ago our fthrs brght frth on ths cntnnt, a new ntn, cncvd in Liberty, & ddctd 2 the proposition that all men are created equal.

It is actually very impressive to see how relatively readable these statements are with out vowels. Continent, conceived and more do get the short shrift on this kind of shortening. Of course, you are only going to save about 40-50 characters at the most by using this, so you can’t put the whole Gettysburg Address in there as I tried to do the first time. The amount of additional content that 40-50 characters can give you is not insignificant, if you know your readers will puzzle it out.

There is something to be said for correct spelling, so multiple tweets may be best. Or you could do what I did…start your own blog.

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