Microblogging is the official term used to describe the massive trend erupting in the form of Twitter, Plurk, Jaiku, and the recently redesigned Facebook. If you haven't heard this term yet, get ready, because it's going to be coming at you from all angles very shortly.
What is Microblogging? Well, if you're reading this then you're probably aware of what a blog is. A 'micro' blog allows a user to post text updates (usually 140 characters or less), photos, links, or audio from either a mobile device or the web. Microblogging takes the traditional model of blogging about current topics to a more immediate level. This is illustrated well with Twitter's prompt, "What are you doing?"
Why is microblogging blowing up? While traditional blogging can require some research, style, and effort, a microblog takes up only 140 characters. The short messages work perfectly for a young generation not intent on focusing on one web page, application, or device for too long. Cellphone applications like TwitterBerry, Twitterific, and Tweetfon allow users to follow their Twitter social network where ever they go. This cellphone crazed demographic can't get enough socially connective applications. With microblogs being so short, users can text a brief status update from their phone in seconds. What the microblogger may or may not be aware of, is that by repeatedly blogging they are adding the user generated content to the website that keeps it continuously fresh and current.
Possibly the main reason there is such a marketing fuss over microblogging is its relative infancy. It falls under the growing social media category that many businesses are dipping their toes into, but are hesitant to dive in head first. Many new ways are being developed to leverage these social networking sites, like Senator John McCain's recent live interview via Twitter deemed a 'Twitterview'. Other companies are creating branded Twitter profiles, like The New York Times, who post captions of articles they have written with a link to their web site and the full story.
One of the newest uses for microblogs is enterprise microsharing. It is a way for corporate office workers to not only communicate to each other, but for file storage, filtering and tagging purposes. Check out Communote as an example of this.