Twitter: The Resurgence of Haiku Poetry

twitter japanese

Twitter Japanese

n., pl. haiku also -kus.
1. A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.
2. A Tweet written in this form.

That might as well be true! What better way to experience the beauty of Haiku, a form of poetry that speaks volumes in 17 syllables than through a medium that constricts you to 140 characters! So it’s no surprise that haiku fans embraced Twitter with an unparalleled zeal, producing some not so bad and some down right awful haiku.

Haiku fan or not, there is definitely an eloquent beauty in the concise brevity of an intense and meaningful tweet, actually Buddhist monks might be adding tweeting along side gardening and meditation as paths you can take to achieve zen.

Quests of enlightenment aside, for us regular denizens of the internet we don’t know what we want but we definitely want it now. So to us tweeps that achieve haiku-like enlightenment in their delivery are certainly beauteous, and people from all walks have been jumping on the bandwagon of condensing information into the new 17 syllables.

If you are into getting your information 140 characters at a time make sure to check the following tweeps:
@cookbook – Tiny recipes that might be the fresh inspiration you need to get back into the kitchen
@nprnews – Your favourite, at least its mine, news outlet gone slim
@philosophytweet – Bite-size philosophy
@publicdomain – Twittering classics one tweet at a time, currently reading “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
@Movietwoosh – One glance movie reviews
@rottentomatoes – Box office movie reviews

Haiku is to Renga what Twitter is to blogging but do you think the future is in the “blurp”? Are we going to move into the world of twitterature? What are your thoughts?

Is Twitter Abandoning Their 140-characters limit?

While I was working on a script, I recalled a scene from The Matrix in which ‘The Oracle’ was talking about good and defective pieces of software. So, I found the quote online and decided to post it on Twitter, but as usual, the 140 character limit was going to be an issue! Not this time!

I hit post, waiting to get the 140 character error message, but the tweet was posted anyway!

Tweet longer than 140 characters!

Tweet longer than 140 characters!

On my twitter profile page the message showed truncated to 140 characters, but with the periods of ellipsis (…) linking to the full tweet. I tested how it’s displayed on TweetDeck, but it was truncated to 140 characters without a link to read the full tweet – I guess this is a #TODO for TweetDeck’s team!

I tried again, with a really long tweet this time, but it was truncated at 246 characters! No warning on the posting box, though.

The question now: Is this a new feature of Twitter, or is it a bug?

I doubt it’s the latter, as even the Javascript that usually tells me how many characters are left didn’t warn me. So, it has got to be intentional. If it’s a new feature, then many websites that offer is to allow longer tweets are about to be decommissioned, such as: twerbose, twitblogs, XLTweet, twitlonger and others.

But, if Twitter is really considering longer Tweets, doesn’t that negate the entire purpose of the 140 characters limit that the entire Twitter reputation is build on top of? From the Twitter Blog: “The Twitter message limit of 140 characters was based on the limit of 160 characters imposed by SMS in general—we just needed some room to include your name in front of the message. It’s this simple constraint that allows Twitter to work well in so many places.”

What do you think? Let us know by leaving a comment.

UPDATE (24 May 2009): It turned out to be a bug, and some people heard about it beforehand. The question now becomes, why does Twitter keep this bug and seems to have taken it into consideration by enabling the system to automatically add the ellipses and link to the full tweet?

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