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Well, That Didn’t Take Long…

February 8, 2010

Last week, Facebook turned 6 and announced it has already reached the 400 million mark. Its growth has become absolutely exponential! It took a year to go from 200 to 300 million, but only months to go from 300 to 350 million, and just weeks to go from 350 to 400. Wow!

In other news, more concrete evidence that Facebook and Twitter have indeed contributed to the cultural phenomenon of the Status Update as Literary Form, first noted by Clive Thomson in the New York Times in 2008: a new Pew Internet report on Social Media and Young Adults found that “Since 2006, blogging has dropped among teens and young adults while simultaneously rising among older adults…youth(s) may be exchanging ‘macro-blogging’ for microblogging with status updates.”

So, young people are refining the art of saying what they have to say, not in a long, drawn-out blog posts (like some here!) but in microformats: 140 characters or less. (Well, that ‘s the limit on Twitter, Facebook’s limit is only slightly more: 420.)

And, speaking for myself anyway, it isn’t easy to communicate succinctly on the Web. I often find I have to ruthlessly edit myself to fit within the text limits, though admittedly it’s usually worth it in the end.

The funny thing for wordy types like me is that shorter often actually takes longer!

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