Twitter and Compact Writing

Just noticed this on Twitter, from John Caddell:

sitting on the porch at the lake house. breezes.

older kid kayaking out on the lake,

younger kid commenting on show he’s watching —


Which makes me think that there’s a lot to be said for writing within a 140-character limit. How well do those 140 characters evoke an image. My tweet back to John: "great tweet! Does twitter proud."

Back in the 1970s the business world was abuzz when Procter and Gamble established a one-page maximum for memos. John’s piece above is hardly a business memo, but — who knows? Maybe we should word count on everything.


  • Sara PM says:

    I'll say. This week I got my first try at boiling one of our products down to 25, 50, and 100 words.

    Boundaries create focus.

  • John Caddell says:

    Hi, Tim,

    One of my favorite things about Twitter is that severe space limitation–it requires you to pare your statements down to their essence.

    I nearly always bump up against the limit in my tweets, and so am really impressed by those who can compress a full feeling into an even shorter Tweet. My favorite of all time: "Damn you VPN." There's a whole story in that one.

    regards, John

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