There have been a lot of posts around lately about whether blogging is dead, because short form is the new shiny. Of course, new media types never kill off old media types (or at least not quickly), but the topic is really moot because long form and short form are apples and oranges — two different value propositions.
One thing short form mediums (like Twitter, Tumblr, and Posterous) excel at is link and video sharing. Not surprisingly, a number of blogs that put a lot of attention into sharing cool links and discoveries have moved their efforts to short form. Now Media Memo picks up a study from TubeMogul, “which reports that Twitter users who click on a referral link to a Web video are likely to stay longer than people who get to the video from Facebook or Digg.”
I can say from personal experience watching the analytics on my food blog that visitors from StumbleUpon or Digg tend to be in high speed, hit-and-run mode. After doing some initial experiments with pursuing readers through those channels, I pulled the plug because the visitors were not interesting to me. While you can drive thousands of visitors, I don’t expect them to comment, stick around, or return. They are, dare I say, “flighty”.
Why is a twitter referral worth more than a Digg or StumbleUpon referral? As long as one is being selective about who you follow on Twitter, in theory there is more “trust” built into that referral, and that makes all the difference. You’ve opted into that Twitter poster’s feed. And no, I’m not saying that Twitter will kill StumbleUpon (although that would make a nice headline) — they are different tools with different uses, not unlike systems which shows product reviews from everyone (good), and product reviews from people you know or trust (best but not always available).
Speaking of Twitter video referrals, here’s one from this morning from @MakeItInMusic, of Imogen Heap: