Sunday May 11, 2008


Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send "updates" (or "tweets"); text-based posts, up to 140 characters
Up to 140 characters...

In January, @jobsworth asked When you tweet, how does your instinct deal with the 140 limit? Do you find yourself "cutting back", "padding out" or "leaving as is"?

I don't much care for really short posts, either to write or to read. I want some value for the tweet. Most of the people I follow post a few sentences most of the time, not just a few words. My own tweets have tended toward 100+ characters, give or take, always in complete sentences.

On occasion I've had to cut back when what I wanted to say went over 140, but most of the time, I just typed what I wanted to say and then sent it. Then I discovered tweet140.

Follow tweet140 on Twitter and we'll start tracking the length of your tweets. The closer to a 140 character average, the better your score.

When you hit 140 exactly, that's a twoosh.

twoosh: n

  1. coining "twoosh", a contraction of tweet-swoosh. It's when your tweet hits exactly 140 characters sans editing.
    @rentzsch - July 13, 2007

  2. A twoosh is the sound that Twitter makes every time someone sends a tweet that's exactly 140 characters long.

The "sans editing" requirement is difficult to attain, so for purposes of the game, the definition of twoosh has become more liberal.

Tweet140 "scores" people as different types of birds, from the lowly penguin, up to swan, falcon, and finally, eagle. I've found that checking the "twooshboard" at is a good way to look for new and interesting people to follow. (I just wish the folks who built tweet140 would implement my request to let me see all of the falcons and eagles.)

Since I started following tweet140, I've paid more attention to the length of my "tweets". It's fun to see how close I can come to the "eagle" level. Recently, I've been working diligently to make each of my tweets come out to 140 characters. I had a couple of accidental postings that lowered my average, but, finally, I hit it.

Direct from tweet140:
@vlb You tweet like an eagle. A perfect 140 avg and 13 twooshes! Nobody soars higher than you soar. You are an inspiration to every tweeter.
That message is 140 characters :)

(I notice my average has dropped slightly since then. I'm a falcon again.)

So now, I've been telling myself, I can back off a bit. I don't have to hit 140 characters every time. Say, 120 or 130. Falcon is laudable.

But tweet140 also tracks my overall rate. My average is only 117 characters per tweet. I can do better. There's still a goal to strive for.

(Eek. That last sentence only has 139 characters!)

Twoosh ( in category Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Sun, 11 May, 11:31 Pacific | «e»

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