My wife and I were putting our kids to bed and we were doing something we have done with them since they were about two years of age. One of us starts a new story by telling a few lines and then the next person picks up where they left off and so on. I thought “gee, this is like a Twitter conversation” and started to wonder what it would be like to have a bunch of folks on twitter collaborate on a short story—140 characters at a time.
Apparently, a similar phenomenon has already demonstrated that it has legs: in Japan, novels are currently written and consumed on cellphones.
In a related post on Read/Write Web, Alex Iskold responds to a post by Fred Wilson on microblogging (Wilson drew the graph above), expanding on Wilson’s claim that microblogging fits a niche in personal publishing not met by chat, social networking, or blogging. Iskold concludes his piece this way:
The personal publishing market evolved from cumbersome web sites to online diaries called blogs to social networks and more recently to microblogs. Each form of personal publishing is different and each has its niche and audience. While social networks have been the most wide spread, the content creation there feels different from publishing. Because traditional blogging platforms are powerful and still require technical know-how, microblogging has evolved as an intermediate form of self-publishing. Microblogging has a shot of spreading blogging further into the mainstream as well as swaying some professional bloggers to start personal blogs.
Although Iskold doesn’t mention micro-fiction like Twittories in his post, it will be interesting to see how this kind of writing fits into the microblogging niche.