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Avoid the PANIC! Get to know the microblog!

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Dilemma: You wish to reap the benefits of a strong personal social media presence but solely use Facebook. You’ve tried Twitter and it isn’t your thing. You’ve considered a blog but aren’t sold on it yet. What should you do?

First, understand that Twitter isn’t right for everyone. The 140 character limit can be intimidating, even to the most highly trained communicators. Just ask White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. This past weekend, Gibbs was quoted as saying to CNN, “It takes an amazing amount of discipline to write out all of what you want to say in 140 characters or less. If you ever watch me do it, it takes me a few minutes to sort of edit even myself down.”

So the next obvious choice is a personal blog, right? Um, think twice about that one, bucko. Blogging is also not right for everyone and keeping up with a blog can strike fear in even the most ambitious of hearts. And rightly so! A personal blog takes discipline and a true time commitment. Start with caution and ask yourself questions about your lifestyle and blogging goals. Your blog could quickly fizzle out if you lead a busy lifestyle, enjoy a decent amount of personal downtime or have a procrastinator’s streak. But that doesn’t mean you should totally give up on blogging. Instead, get to know a microblog.

I’m talking about what I consider to be true microblogs, i.e. not Twitter. Tumblr and Posterous are the two leading services. The easiest way to understand Tumblr and Posterous? Half Twitter, half full blog. The “if they mated” of the blogging world. Posting is effortless and the format encourages short entries. Depending on the service, you can text, email or use an iPhone app to post. There is multi-media, and lots of it. Which is great because most average users find that it’s easier to post multi-media than to write a post. The result is that they post more frequently and become more active in the space. I’m a big fan of Tumblr because of its iPhone app but check both out if microblogging seems interesting to you. Or maybe there is another service that’s more appealing. Either way, before you jump to blog, decide what will work best for YOU!

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