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Woofer the Un-Twitter

August 26, 2009

Do you feel constrained by Twitter’s 140 character limit?  Can you never say what you want to in the alloted space?  Are you tired of having to shrink all your links before posting them?  Do you stay up at night wishing you had an extra 10 characters to complete your thoughts?

Well then do I have the site for you.  Welcome to Woofer, the Un-Twitter.  Unlike Twitter which imposes a maximum amount of characters, woofer has a minimum.  Yes, a character minimum.  To submit a Woof (their version of a Tweet) the post must be no shorter than 1400 characters.

A different kind of user generated content.

How long is 1400 characters you may wonder?  Well, the average length of an english word is just over 5 characters (5.1 to be exact).  Therefore the average amount of words required in a Woof is 280.  It’s very do-able.

I mean I’m at 134 right now…

If you go to Woofer (http://woofertime.com/) you will see that they are an homage to Twitter, but clearly not affiliated with the popular micro blogging platform.  Their site is pretty clever how it is designed; it looks like Twitter but has its own feel.

The majority of “Woofs” on the site are people copying and pasting the same thing over and over again to meet the character limit.  There are a few legitamit posts though, some of which inspire a little bit of thought.  It will be interesting to visit in the future and see what kind of information its users will disseminate.

Clearly, Woofer is not going to knock Twitter out of the #1 micro blogging platform.  The beauty of Twitter is that it is efficiency.  Efficiency is not something that Woofer believes in.  In fact, on the “About” page one of their suggestions for the new platform is DEA (Dont ever abbreviate) – very clever.  Will Woofer ever become a force in the micro blogging world?  I don’t think so.  But that doesn’t mean it’s useless.

Woofer is making a statement that needs to be made.  In a world of SMS messages, Twitter and overbooked schedules, Woofer is a breath of fresh air.  It is important to realize that we need to be able to write in the classic sense, in long form.  I fear that our society’s obsession with efficiency will hurt future generations writing and communication skills.  Who knows, maybe Gen Y is the first generation to suffer because of the efficiency need.

Maybe Woofer will become a home for aspiring authors, poets, playwrights, or the deep thinkers of the world.  Maybe it will become a popular medium to read fresh rants about the world around us. Or maybe it won’t.  Only time will tell if it will become a platform where people can truly congregate, and not just another flash in the pan. Either way, I support Woofer and their idea.

Woofer, way to make a statement.  I will be reading.

Woof Woof

Follow Todd on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/toddliss

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