Twitter Genres : A Draft

In concert with developing a page of Twitter resources, I’ve started (in-work!) identifying message genres (types). Note that some follow traditional genre style (eg, fiction, nonfiction, science fiction, romance) and some are “types of people” (politics, organizations, reporters):

  1. Personal: the type envisioned when the tool was developed. Examples:
    • daynah (followers: 114) is getting ready to bbq! But where is the sun??
    • nsolis (followers: 45) Cleaning, packing, finding boxes with my ex’s name on them. Weird.
    • UmbralEchoes (followers: 9) Back from Chicago, chillaxin’ at the house. Trying to buy tickets to GenCon events, and failing.
  2. Personal But With Wider Relevance: Personal messages that move beyond “what am I doing at the moment.” Examples:
    • Implications for corporate brand image: davewiner (followers: 8,132) My Comcast service is down again, for the last four hours. On hold with their service people, getting the runaround
    • Thought Leader: timeoreilly (followers: 3,588 ) Interview with Inc magazine about and the future of manufacturing. Tying in Make, Instructables, Inventables, Chumby
    • Educator: hrheingold (followers: 2,333) Thinking about a broader framework for teaching attention literacy
  3. Micro-blogging: Twitter returns blogging to its roots: the link post. Examples:
  4. News Feed: Both bloggers and traditional news organizations are using Twitter as a wire feed. Examples:
  5. Reply with Link: Public responses that are surrogate link posts
  6. Politics: Political organizations/people who use Twitter to advance their agenda
  7. Reporters Who Twitter – Twitter can be used to solicit ideas/input for stories
  8. Organizations That Twitter (information, non-political)

So. What do you think?

Author: Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, writer, teacher. Webmaster at King County Elections; educator at UW. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill,,

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  1. Very interesting :)

  2. Thanks, both of you! I can only imagine what SxSW was like. =:-0

  3. Kathy —
    What a splendid job! I think this moves the discussion ahead quite a bit and really blunts any attempt at one-dimensional definition.
    Looking forward to sharing/discussing this more …


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