This post is written for the social media course Rudai: 23
I think Facebook and Twitter do facilitate professional networking, either acting as jumping off points to the more career focused services or as more easy going alternatives to LinkedIn etc… Both keep you in contact with a diverse group of people you might otherwise lose touch with. Both can help with experimenting with different writing styles for different kinds of audiences. Also unlike a blog there is a wider and more obvious audience for your writing, you know a certain amount of people are going to at least see the posts, regardless of how much attention they pay to them.
I think I find Twitter the more interesting due to the constraint on the number of characters and how this forces me to adapt my writing style. It certainly teaches you the value of being concise! When writing about any topic it’s important to be both accurate and coherent, but it’s also important to engage the reader’s interest. Good writing manages to balance these three aspects. Blogs and Facebook may be better for longer more detailed passages but there is the danger of meandering from the topic resulting in the reader losing interest. (I personally am not a fan of long-winded explanations no matter how interesting I find the topic!) When trying to engage people’s interest in a new topic you’re better off going with short punchy dialogue rather then a longer, more accurate descriptive passage. Twitter is the perfect medium for this. The only concern would be the potential loss of accuracy and coherence in exchange for brevity, but this can be alleviated simply by linking to a longer more detailed post. That said condensing my answers to 140 characters or less does take time, so I’m not very comfortable with Twitter Chats yet. I’m not really good at working under a time limit, I find it awkward but hopefully with practice I’ll improve.