140 Characters is a Joke | Chappaqua Realtor

THERE IS ALWAYS more to the story than what we are told. I am not omniscient. It is better to light a single candle than to join a lynch mob. Other people’s behavior is not my business. Truth is hard, epigrams are easy. Anything worth saying takes more than 140 characters. Blogging’s not dead. F____ the 140 character morality police.

Filed under: Best practices, Blogs and Blogging, Community, Design, engagement, Responsibility, State of the Web, twitter, writing

38 Responses to “140 Characters is a Joke”

  1. Jesse said on 27 March 2013 at 10:46 am:

    Wait, we aren’t supposed to look (solely) to the Facetweet feeds of our industry leaders for solid moral guidance?

    Power to the 140+ character enabled humans.

  2. Nishant said on 27 March 2013 at 10:51 am:

    Thank you, Jeffrey.

  3. Chris Ferdinandi said on 27 March 2013 at 10:53 am:


  4. Iain said on 27 March 2013 at 10:55 am:

    This, THIS, THIS!!

  5. claudia snell said on 27 March 2013 at 10:55 am:

    Love it! You are amazing, again.

  6. Julia Gregory said on 27 March 2013 at 10:56 am:


  7. Anton Peck said on 27 March 2013 at 10:56 am:

    Sir, I completely agree. I wrote about a similar thing quite recently: http://antonpeck.com/journal/article/write_now

    I’m totally being selfish when I say: “I want to see people get back to writing great content again.” I miss the great authors of the internet.

  8. Brian Hassett said on 27 March 2013 at 10:59 am:

    I completely agree! 140 characters is your basic introduction. Doesn’t get you much further than that.

  9. Matt Steele said on 27 March 2013 at 11:00 am:

    This is exactly what keeps me from being a heavy twitter user. Too many knee jerk reactions from armchair pundits.

    “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.”
    -Mark Twain

  10. Michel Vuijlsteke said on 27 March 2013 at 11:01 am:

    tl;dr: “Anything worth saying takes more than 140 characters. Blogging’s not dead.” (66 characters to go) 🙂

  11. Shawn said on 27 March 2013 at 11:14 am:

    What is this in reference to?

  12. Emil Lunnergård said on 27 March 2013 at 11:18 am:

    I do not read so much of your posts, but this one got me. I can’t say how much I appreciate a good, well-written article about anything. 140 characters is just for people with no depth in their lives (if I am allowed to generalize).

    Good statement! Keep it up

  13. Kodiak said on 27 March 2013 at 11:43 am:

    A local ambulance-chaser law firm just recently got a snazzy new phone number to which they can receive texts. Their new marketing campaign is “sometimes it’s not convenient to call.” I’m not sure, but if I ever need to hire a lawyer, I think I’m going to have a lot more to say 140 characters will allow.

    Status messages are for statuses. In status meetings I report that projects are “green” because the parties involved only care that things are on track. That doesn’t absolve me from keeping detailed documentation of the project. Likewise, hearing “things are great” might be enough for particular situations and audiences, but when I run into an old friend that I haven’t seen in years, I’m going to want to hear a little more of the story. It’s no different in the Intertubes.

  14. Scott Phelps said on 27 March 2013 at 12:22 pm:

    It’s Ok to swear. You’re an adult.

  15. John Slegers said on 27 March 2013 at 12:32 pm:

    The early 21st century has become a world of tweets and sound bites, where getting anyone’s attention for longer than 3 minutes has become a major accomplishment.

    Saying too much usually leads to people ignoring you and saying too little usually leads to people wanting to know more.

    So from a marketing perspective, going with 140 characters or less is best. Just don’t expect to learn all you need to know by never looking at what lies underneath.

  16. Tanner Christensen said on 27 March 2013 at 12:32 pm:

    Maybe that’s the point? Captivate readers and point them in a direction where they can learn more of the story.

    Besides, you CAN tell a great story in 140 characters. It’s not going to cover everything under the sun, but you don’t always need to.

  17. Chris Cullmann said on 27 March 2013 at 1:00 pm:

    The brevity of this article underscores how impactful concise writing can be, but an artificial contraint can be a hindrance to a strong message. Nice post.

  18. Emily said on 27 March 2013 at 1:02 pm:

    Funny how such a simple realization is so easy to forget when we get caught in the moment. It’s like having the epiphany that we didn’t need to wear the latest pair of Abercrombie jeans or rock that trendy hairstyle back in High School in order to be cool, yet we struggle to drop the concern of what our peers think of us.

    I have been trying to teach our nine year old the importance of standing up for herself and for others and avoiding the lynch mob mentality that pervades the playground. Thanks for reminding us adults of this lesson as well.

  19. Jameos said on 27 March 2013 at 1:21 pm:

    Ya know, it’s ok to disagree with Mr. Z now and again. I’ve read as many lame tweets as I have long and rambling blog posts. Someone who has true command of writing can get their point across with or without limitations…in the end, it’s all a matter of taste in how well they pull it off. Short = elegance, long = substance. Anyone who says short- or long-form writing is right or wrong…is wrong. Tweet or blog that as you please.

  20. Daniel said on 27 March 2013 at 1:29 pm:

    Hi Jeffrey, I edited this “article” to fit within 140 characters while still delivering the message:

    “THERE IS ALWAYS more to the story. Truth = hard / epigrams = easy. Anything worth saying takes > 140 char. Bloggings not dead. Click here to cancel reply.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.