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Does Twitter Distract From or Inspire Your Blogging?

Posted By Darren Rowse 12th of July 2008 Reader Questions, Social Media 0 Comments

Sarah from Blogversary emailed me earlier today with a question/observation about some people and their use of social messaging tools like Twitter and Plurk. Her email included:

Do think Twitter has had a negative impact on some folk’s blogs? As in, they are blogging less?

My initial reaction to her email was to think of a number of bloggers who’ve all but disappeared from their blogs since discovering Twitter. The ‘distraction’ element of Twitter has been profound for them.

But as I began to think about it I realized that there’s another group of social messenger users that have been energized in their blogging by Twitter and Plurk. I’d consider myself to be in this group.

I personally find that Twitter informs and inspires my blogging. The interactions that I have, the conversations that I see others having, the questions that I’m asked and the answers that other users of Twitter and Plurk give me are constantly feeding me with ideas to blog about.

So my question for those of you who are social messaging users is this:

Does social messaging distract or inspire your blogging?

If you’re one of those bloggers who is inspired by these mediums – I’d also love to hear your reflections on how you keep it from being a distraction and how you shape your use of the mediums to inform and inspire your blogging.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

  • Coming in a bit late – at first as I got used to them both, I blogged a lot less, but now it absolutely is inspiring. I’ve also found using TweetDeck’s global keyword search feature helps bring in more inspiration and more potential ‘friends’ that hopefully will build my readership.

    So far – so good.

  • I don’t use twitter myself….don’t have the time!

    But….I’ll throw this out there. I have unsubscribed from blogs that put daily twitter updates in their feeds. It’s annoying, and they never make sense anyway!

  • Liz

    Twitter has yet to become an addiction for me. I’ve set it to update when I post, so I think it brings friends in to my blog, which is great. I don’t even visit it every day…so, hopefully I can keep this one under control. Knock on wood.

  • Twitter is somewhat distracting, but so is email and the Internet as a whole.
    I love technology though so the concept of twitter is great for getting connected with others, learning about others and finding new resources and information quickly.
    I find a lot of great sites through reading posts on twitter and use tweetdeck global search as well to find other people in my niche and to also find new friends ☺

  • Hi Darren,

    Of course Twitter doesnt distract or disappoint me. When it distracts me from blogging, it will disappoint me!

    No it doesn’t because I use it to promote my blog readers, and also, the blog to boost twitter presence. I have now on the whole only ten twitterers following me, however, when people find my blog interesting, I am sure they will add me in twitter facebook etc.

    What I suggest is to use Twitter as a tool to broadcast your blog’s new features, your new suggestions, or links that you think are valuable. Simple articles of 150 characters each!

    And twittering once or twice or even ten times a day doesn’t take much time. When you are browsing, have twitter open and just tweet any fine links or ideas on blogging you come across. Simple and effective. You can let twitter do its job of promotion and let blog do its job of enrichment of lives.


  • I had just recently written a post precisely on this topic. I think while twitter and plurk are useful, they could get you hooked on to them, and your blog could suffer as a result. Here’s the post I wrote

  • In the beginning I wondered, why should I tell people what I am doing on the web and even the post appeared on my Ed Desk blog note. However, as I explored, I find it amazing as it promotes my sites and blogs and all the biz and political scoops as Twitter messages reaches places!

    Twitter doesn’t distract me as emailing is not my cup of tea and my readers and friends get to read my messages on my site and social networks like Facebook. Moreover, Twitter Tweets keep us informed and our exploration journey continues with ‘what’s new’ – Twitter’s Twittering Rocks.

  • For me, it helps me destress. I don’t twitter or plurk that often enough to distract me from blogging.

  • I think I would have given up blogging if it hadn’t been for twitter…I often check out other’s posts, and it is helping me improve my blog…plus I’m finally getting some traffic…which is a huge encouragement!

  • It really depends on who you follow. If you’re not following leaders in your industry or complementary industries and only family and friends with nothing to teach you, then I would say it distracts. However, if you make it a rule to follow both, you will be inspired.

  • I sometimes get inspired AND distracted…gotta turn off the tweets often!

  • This is exactly the subject of a blog post I did last week –

    I think it really behooves us to keep our methods of messaging separate. Just as it does in real life. Same as the difference between text messaging someone and actually calling them on the phone.

  • I’d say it inspires me and I’m with Lori…I’m more distracted from housework or day to day stuff than blogging. I love seeing what other people are doing and reading.

  • It’s definitely improved my blogging. The key reason is that it really drives me to wrote more unique content. If I see conversations all over Twitter on the iPhone debacle, I’m not going to write about it as well. There’s enough info out there.

  • I think it definitely inspires me more than distracts. It has been one of the best networking tools I have found, and it really makes it easy to connect with people who have similar interests and who, in many cases, are also bloggers looking to network too. It is one of the easiest ways for me to keep up with other blogs (short of sitting for 3 hours with Google Reader) and to keep all my friends updated about mine.

  • I think tweeting actually helps me become inspired for ideas for webpages as well as blog posts. I don’t tweet every second of the hour or follow the feed religiously; I just check out Twitter about every 1/2 hour to see what’s up for about 2 minutes. It’s usually at that time that I need a break anyways.

  • Yes. Twitter both distracts from blogging, work, eating, and those other people in my house (family? is that the word?). But it also connects me, informs me, entertains me, and yes sometimes inspires me.

  • I like doing random posts every now and then–where I write one or two sentence blurbs about things going on in life, things I’ve heard, etc. But since I’ve started using Twitter those random posts have dried up. I’m thinking about stopping Twitter so I can get the randomness back for the blog.

  • I have found Twitter to be a way to enhance my blog, in that, I can share little quips about life or something happening in my life.

  • I never bothered with any social media-messaging applications with my blog, mainly because I like writing thoughtful comments on other blogs in lieu of a quick message to another person. :P I find commenting helps build up my traffic much more effectively, plus it also works over a longer period of time.

  • I find it so ironic that you wrote on this title. I have been asking this question lately.

    Is it not possible that some of the social networks are consuming too much of our personal time?

  • Twitter has been a private little comfort out there.. While some of the up-to-the-minute details shared one could certainly do without knowing, grin, the rest have been nice in that I travel a tough realm of this Life.. Twitter is people sharing mostly the good things going on in their Lives at any given second, a nice break from the Reality of what else is also going on out there simultaneously for others, the things I *do* blog about..

    *In spite* of Twitter.. :)

    Cyber hugs from North Georgia..

  • Darren Cronian

    I use Twitter as I do most social networking tools, to get my message out there. I also communicate with followers and ask them their opinions on my blog.

    The downside to me about Twitter is that you do not really build up relationships, because you do not know any of the people who follow you.

    I’d like to see improved profiles which allows you to get to know your followers better. I wouldn’t say that it distracts or inspires me but its a useful to have.

  • Both.

    Distraction — Because i’m checking it way more than is necessary

    Inspiration — I follow interesting people

    Feel free to follow…

  • As a new (returning blogger) I think it helps. I went nuts with posts the first month I got back to blogging. I had collected so many ideas, themes, etc and barfed them out all at the same time.

    Since finding Twitter, it’s focused me. Opened me to other, similar blogs and allowed me to post things to Twitter instead of cluttering my blog and my subscribers feeds.

    It CAN be a huge time suck! Especially when things get quiet at work or in the evenings, but thankfully, I enjoy most of whom I follow.

  • Breathing can be a distraction from writing! LOL. At any given moment anything can be an excuse NOT to write. With that in mind, Twitter has been a great inspiration to blog more. Twitter provides a much more direct connection with your personal “community” and knowing that they are out there “listening” is a great motivation to write more and spark more conversation. If I relied on comments alone, I would think many of my blog posts were unread… but I often get comments about them on Twitter, even if there are no comments on my blog. This reminds me that whether it is one person or a thousand people, there is an audience and that makes it important to keep blogging. As for Twitter itself, I am addicted and seeking “help”, as chronicled at

  • I use them differently, depending how hot things are in the aviation niche.

    RED HOT: I post on my blog outside the normal daily schedule, and then make a twitter update to notify followers.

    HOT but short: I simply tweet, possibly with a link, and sometimes post later.

    Normal: simple post on the blog.

    I also tweet about blog updates, or new derived products, to keep the followers updated if they don’t read the RSS or the blog itself.

    My twitter feed “General Aviation and Aviation in General” can be found at

  • I love Twitter. For me to keep in touch and meet new people, and my blog readers love it, as it shows another side to our lives.

  • Have to police myself as far as Twitter is concerned.

    Log on daily. Post tiny urls from blogs.

    Read twitter archives.

    I do enjoy the interaction.

    If I follow twitter all day long it messes with my schedule.

  • I must say I’m a bit surprised at how many bloggers find Twitter and Plurk a distraction. At least moreso than inspiring. Making casual friends with fellow writers/bloggers on Twitter has definitely given me ideas for articles and even helped me to focus on what the “real” world wants to know about.

    As for the distraction part- I find it a useful distraction since it’s my getaway when I have momentary writer’s block. :)

  • Twitter was definitely a distratction at first, but I’ve come back to my roots.

    I remember why I started blogging in the first place, and how it helps my clients and readers.

    I remember that I have to be solid and consistent on my blog, if nothing else.

    Thus, Twitter will help and assist my blog platform and not the other way around.

    Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

  • Twitter is a great tool if you want to interact with your community. but as a social bookmarking thng i don’t really find it useful.

  • What exactly is an individual expected to do on twitter, blog or meet people?

  • thank!
    this is very nice post!
    i like it!
    I remember why I started blogging in the first place, and how it helps my clients and readers.

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