Friday, March 16, 2018

Lost Corners of the Internet:
Longer excellent tweets

When Twitter officially expanded tweets from 140 characters to 280 characters late last year, I was bitter and cranky and whiny. (In other words, my usual self.) I had believed that 140 characters represented the perfect social-media communication art form — notwithstanding all the "OMG" and "WTF" tweets that spew forth during sporting events, awards shows and social-media-based nuclear brinksmanship between world leaders.

I had spent about 17 percent of my life learning to craft the perfect tweet, right down to the period as the 140th character. Because I'm a writer and editor, and sentences get periods at the end, dammit.

Anyway, it turns out that I'm also unnecessarily alarmist. And my insistent nostalgia for the days of 140-character tweets has transformed into appreciation for what can be done within 280 characters.

But, like everything else on the ephemeral Internet, tweets can be fleeting. Unless you print them out on a sheet of paper and tuck them into a book — and I am guilty of doing this — it's possible we'll get to a point where they are lost to future generations.

So this is my attempt to both show appreciation for a handful of new, long-form tweets that I have come across and to give them a tiny boost toward being saved for history and posterity. For good measure, please print these out and tuck them into your favorite book. Or copy them onto a postcard and mail it to someone.

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