Rob Horning, one of the most thoughtful writers on the online experience, considers how his writing and thinking have changed as he has shifted his time from blogging to tweeting:
Now, when I hit upon an article that starts me thinking, I excerpt a sentence of it on Twitter and start firing off aphoristic tweets. I don’t worry about ordering my thoughts into a sequential argument, or revising my first impressions much. I don’t try to build toward a conclusion; rather I try to draw conclusions that seem to require no build-up, no particular justification to be superficially plausible. And then, more often than not, I will monitor what sort of reaction these statements get to assess their accuracy, their resonance. At best, my process of deliberation and further reading on the subject gets replaced by immediate Twitter conversations with other people. At worst, tweeting pre-empts my doing any further thinking, since I am satisfied with merely charting the response.
One of his recent tweets reads: “making things circulate seems far more important than letting things ‘settle’ within me.” Frisson and dolor, a Catherine wheel of vanity, servitude to vanishing ink: the Twitter intellectual is a strange new species.