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I search rather than Google and vacuum rather than Hoover. Technically I microblog rather than tweet, but it just doesn't sound as snappy. Is there a short (single syllable?), established, generic term I can use in case I switch to identi.ca?

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  • I had this issue for a very long time. Firstly I feel it is wrong to brand tweet as microblog. I feel it was more a convenience, during the initial stages of Twitter, to relate these short messages with something popular, and hence got associated with blogging. My personal opinion is that both tweet and blog serve different purposes, and should be taken differently. Hence I would not use microblog for tweet and vice versa.
    – user342898
    Jan 25, 2012 at 11:25

6 Answers 6

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Use microblog.

Here are the various verbs out there that Twitter competitors and users are actually using and therefore would be meaningful.

  • Identi.ca – microblog
  • Jaiku (defunct) – "share updates" and "share short messages"
  • Sprout – microblog
  • Plurk – plurk
  • Pownce (defunct) – "send stuff"
  • Tumblr - microblog
  • Yammer – microblog

I conclude that microblog is the accepted term in circulation that means publish via a short message service. The only shorter, snappier terms are vendor specific.

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Microblog is the only verb that refers specifically to short public postings to social networking services like Twitter. However, in many contexts post and update, while more generic, will do.

For example,

“She wastes all of her time microblogging on Twitter.”

can be replaced with

“She wastes all of here time posting to Twitter.”

Post and update also apply in social networking contexts where microblog doesn't make sense. One does not microblog on Facebook, but one does post to Facebook.

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  • I agree that "post" is a better short term.
    – ian
    Jan 2, 2014 at 10:17
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Just a historical note on what is an old question that has burbled back into activity.

My understanding was that "tumblelog" was the original term for posting short messages on a social media platform. Kottke.org has a nice definition from 2005: "A tumblelog is a quick and dirty stream of consciousness, a bit like a remaindered links style linklog but with more than just links." The same post also uses it as a verb ("tumblelogging"). This is also where the "Tumblr" name came from.

However, as this TechTarget definition suggests, "microblog/ging" is now the more common term.

FWIW. ;)

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Zing, a verb meaning "To move very quickly, especially while making a high-pitched hum", might adapt to your purpose. Its major drawback is its variegated previous use.

An apposite choice is blat, a verb meaning "To cry, as a calf or sheep; to bleat; to make a senseless noise; to talk inconsiderately" and "To produce an overrich or overblown sound on a brass instrument such as a trumpet, trombone, or tuba". However, acceptance could be slow because some may see it as pejorative.

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I'm not sure how widely used the term is (so I won't set this as an answer -- yet), but the Free Software Foundation use chirp as an alternative:

Chirp along with us on your microblogging service of choice

From FSF blog post of the same name.

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Mastodon is a federated microblogging platform that allows communities to pick their own terminology. The default term used by Mastodon platform is toot. A default term is not quite the same as a generic term, but to my knowledge toot is not intended to have and has not yet acquired the meaning "microblogging specifically via Mastodon".

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