It’s no secret that I generally dislike Twitter threads and tend to wish more people would just blog, and then selectively quote it in a couple choice tweets. Most of the time, like Alan Jacobs, I find threads to be “choppy, imprecise, abstract, syntactically naïve or incompetent, lacking in appropriate transitions” — as Robert of Frosted Echoes said it’s like “reading a novel written on sticky notes”.
(In some ways even worse still, threads open the door to people retweeting every tweet in a thread, which: I mean, come on.)
That said, Jacobs’ post reminded me of a terrific defense of threads by Jessica Price in which she notes the unique degree of control threading gives her over how thoughts are conveyed and constructed.
I can’t necessarily control which tweets people will read or not read, but people rarely read only part of a tweet. It’s almost impossible to only read part of it, given the length and how it’s displayed.
So if I can fit a complete thought into a single tweet, I can at least guarantee that people will see that thought as a unit.
Moreover, people almost never quote part of a tweet. They retweet or embed it as a whole. So if I can fit that complete thought into a single tweet, I can almost guarantee that a single phrase in it won’t be quoted out of context.
Price also notes the “granularity” threads offer in terms of being able to pick and choose what conversations to have based upon to which tweets people respond.
I’m always going to vigorously nod whenever someone hates on Twitter threads, but ever since Price’s thoughts on why she threads I’m never going to nod without also thinking about her take, which I kept forgetting to blog about — if only so I could find it again, because I didn’t bookmark it. If nothing else, Jacob’s post finally gave me the excuse.