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Why microblog?

Faisal Qureshi, TV anchorperson, blogger and founder of Mensa Pakistan: Microblogging has helped me connect with people from all over the world. It has helped me propagate messages and gather diversified information in real-time. In fact, Twitter is one online tool I can't imagine functioning without. I urge all Pakistanis to join a microblogging service and use this highly effective tool to their benefit.

Naveen Naqvi, Editor-in-Chief and co-founder, I began experimenting with microblogging when I was still a broadcast journalist at Dawn News. Since I was a presenter for the morning news programme, Breakfast at Dawn, I would ask people who followed me on Twitter to participate in conversations with the experts, policymakers and politicians who were guests on my show. Soon after, I started inviting tweeters like Ammar Yasir and Faisal Kapadia on the show. Although I'm no longer with broadcast, Twitter is still an integral part of my life. Following Pakistani journalists like Shaheryar Mirza and Omar Waraich provides me with breaking news and excellent analysis.

Raza Rumi, Consulting Editor, The Friday Times: Although I have only recently started microblogging, I have found that it has transformed the way I have been managing information and ideas. As a journalist and policy adviser, Twitter keeps me updated on the news and helps me stay abreast of what is being said or researched. I have acquired the opportunity to interact with thousands of people from similar professions. In fact, Twitter has broken the old-world barriers and formalisms. The only downside is that I am addicted to Twitter!

Tazeen Javed, development consultant and blogger: Microblogging has opened new portals for me. I have found like-minded people, generated some amazing ideas, spread the word about worthy causes to people who were out of my reach earlier. As a writer and blogger, I have found new readers and followers who have helped me realize that my voice is an important and effective tool. It has helped me in developing myself as a brand.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat, human rights activist and documentary film-maker. Blogging extends freedom of expression to people. It is both an exciting and liberating force.

Sabeen Mahmud, Director, The 2nd Floor (T2F): I've been microblogging since 2007 and Twitter allows me to rant, rave, and share ideas. Other people on Twitter are so good at breaking news that I never have to turn on the TV. It is an ideal platform for announcing T2F events and projects and receiving feedback to which we can respond immediately. But I do worry about what microblogging is doing to our concentration, imagination and cognition.

Mohamed El Dahshan, economist and writer: The audience loves short and to-the-point messages. The reach of microblogging is therefore superior to complete articles or posts. Micro-messages also connect people who share a particular interest - as opposed to most social media that connect you to people you know in real life. This engenders, with time, a strong sense of community.

However, the main weakness however is that micro-messages are ephemeral. If your reader has missed them, they're gone. A mix of 'long messages' in the form of articles and blogs and 'short messages' such as microblogs is necessary for any solid communication strategy.

Rebecca Chiao, co-founder, HarassMap: HarassMap's blog helps us to share tips on how to deal with sexual harassment. It helps us gain feedback from the public and inform them about our activities. Furthermore, it serves as a useful resource on legal aid, psychological counselling and self-defence classes. We have used it to feature suggestions from volunteers and show instructional videos on self-defence for women and we act on the information we gather through HarassMap.

Basil Nabi Malik, law graduate from Columbia University: I think microblogging services provide a great way to communicate with various people. Of the many advantages that microblogging provides, building social networks and work contacts is the most important. While microblogging has helped increase networking possibilities and disseminate information easily, limited internet usage and market penetration has restrained the true potential of this unique forum.

Slogan asked some avid tweeters why they microblog.
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Date:Aug 31, 2011
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