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Aaron Belz


A Month of Tweeting

How the internet discovered poetic economy.

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One more thing I've determined is that it's not necessary to follow celebrities like Steve Martin and Tim Keller (my big two) if you have friends who diligently retweet their best tweets. The same principle applies to culturally important feeds such as The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, or First Things. I have fifty friends who scan and digest those feeds for me. I have unfollowed all of the above.

But my theory, like my Twitter experience, is still in its formative stages. I haven't even begun to use Twitter's "list" function, which separates the feed into multiple tickers. I haven't explored TweetDeck or other Twitter-oriented apps. I don't have an iPad or an iPhone. As Lou Costello once said, "I'm just a boy!"

But I have determined this much, thus far: Twitter is a worthy use of internet media. It's not like Facebook or Myspace, though it effectively holds hands with those networks. In fact, I'd say Twitter is the best thing since email, and that has largely to do with its formal limit, which is profoundly satisfying to my poetic sense of economy. Oh, if only bloggers of the past decade had had a formal limit of 140 characters, think of how much nicer the web would be.

Aaron Belz (@aaronbelz) teaches English at Providence Christian College in Pasadena, California. His second poetry collection, Lovely, Raspberry, was published by Persea Books in 2010.


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