27 May 2009

Is it Possible for the Chinese *Truly* to Twitter?

Here's something that has always struck me about Twittering in Chinese:

a Chinese tweet can have three times the volume of an English tweet, thanks to the high information intensity of the Chinese language. 140 Chinese characters can make up all the full elements of a news piece with the "5 Ws" (Who, What, Where, When and HoW).

So that's as if those writing in alphabetic languages had 420 characters instead of Twitter's usual 140 - a very different kettle of fish.

So, is that still a genuine tweet, given that it's no longer so constrained by its format? Is it better or worse to have more space for your thoughts? Which would you prefer: traditional micro-blogging, or Chinese-style *miniblogging*?

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