December 07, 2010

I love brevity, especially when it's costing me to read or listen. But too brief is bad. I signed up to tweet recently and it was clear that I am a big mouth, or more correctly, a volume writer. I exceeded the 140 characters on each of my 79 tweets, but when I went back to cut, the message lost something.

You see, my occupation defies the rules of Twitter. As a consultant, explanations are like dressing on a salad. If I told a client, "Trust me, just do it" he'd fire me. So just as the creator of Twitter was arbitrary with 140 characters, I am going to be equally arbitrary in suggesting the following new rules.

1. Use words as the limiter not characters. Words have meaning and meaning is the basis for any good communication.

2. Even when I worked as a consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton, I'd spend hours debating with a partner the proper use of would or will, but we never debated the use of a colon vs. semi-colon.

3. I like a cap of 118 words, and that came from a neural algorithm I use to find metrics that define all things righteous.

4. The Gettysburg Address is 256 words long. I cut it back to 118 and it didn't skip a beat of meaning. I believe ol' Abe would have thanked me at the time because the poor guy was exhausted.

5. I wrote a tweet recently about my banking habits and how I avoided getting sucked in by banks that were now looking for every penny of fee income they could levy. It took me years to figure out how I could get 14 accounts for free. How do I tell the World they could do it too with only 140 characters at my disposal?

Oops, this blog is 317 words. I shoulda quit after the second paragraph.

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