Less than 3 minutes to read and less than 700 words.
There are no “official” classifications for the three levels of blogging. The post, “What is a Miniblog?” pointed out the definitions and consensus characteristics of the microblog and blog noting that the interpretation of miniblog is pretty wide open. This post will pioneer the effort to establish some clarification by establishing the classifications of the three levels of blogging.
History of Blog Classifications
A series of historical posts support the idea that there are three distinct levels of blogging and point towards the criteria identified later below.
2011. Platform or engine. Dawson directly nails my point that miniblogs “sit between traditional blogs and micro-blogs such as Twitter.” (https://rossdawson.com/blog/the_rise_of_min/)
2014. Platform or engine. Christos Matskas makes the distinction that the engine for a miniblog makes it a “powerful yet lightweight blog”. (https://cmatskas.com/a-brief-introduction-to-miniblog/)
2015. Platform or engine and intended use. My Personal Blogger made the case that a miniblog exceeds the limited capabilities of the microblogging social media platforms. She claims that the miniblog adds “a professional edge” to your social media to promote your organization and products (http://theblogmaven.blogspot.com/2015/06/what-is-miniblog.html). [Note, at the time of her post in 2015, My Personal Blogger was offering some content creation service for miniblogs, but the links to that service are now dead].
2018. Time to build and maintain. Dawn-Maire Nesbit affirms that microblogs and miniblogs are “different blogging entities” and adds the distinction that a miniblog can be one page and contain only a few posts. She cleverly used landing pages as the platform for her miniblog. (https://inkwelleditorial.com/make-money-with-mini-blogs)
First, we must declare the criteria for evaluation.
The number of words is quantifiable and an easy variable to measure.
The platform or engine used is another simple differentiation which is connected to the time needed to build and maintain.
Finally, the intended use is qualifiable and extremely useful for classification purposes.
Length in Number of Words
Using 5 characters per word to adapt the best social media post character lengths for higher engagement today (https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/best-social-media-post-lengths-for-higher-engagement-in-2020-infographic/573183/); Twitter is 20 words and Instagram is 25 words. These are well below the maximum limits for Twitter at 56 and Instagram at 420. For our purposes, a microblog is classified at up to 400 words.
Many sources seem to set the ideal blog length to be at least 1,000 words mostly due to search engine optimization (SEO) influence for longer articles.
So that places our mighty miniblog in the range of 400 to 1,000 words per post. You could have a microblog pushing into the miniblog realm and you could have a miniblog pushing into blog word count territory.
Platform or Engine
Microblogs run on social media engines such as Twitter and Instagram.
Blogs are run on the self-hosted Wordpress.org engine as well as platforms such as Medium, WordPress.com, and Blogger.
Once again, we find miniblogs falling somewhere between the limited functionality of microblogging social media and the more powerful full blogs.
Although social media microblogs can be a key avenue to promote a business, they’re supplemental – you can’t run a full business from Twitter or Instagram.
You can run an entire business on a blog engine, especially with plug-in applications on a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Miniblogs are the first level that supports running a business. They provide the professional edge above social media which My Personal Blogger mentioned above.
Facebook could be used for each level of blogging. The character limit is 63,206 which translates to 12,641 words. It’s a social media-based platform. You can run a business on it by setting up a Facebook business page. I would argue that the complexity of options and constant updates pushing Facebook business pages into the classification of blogs due to the time needed to build and maintain.
You have the answer to the question, “what is a miniblog?”
You can classify a miniblog as a blog that is self-hosted or running on a platform other than social media, that has posts that run with lengths from 400-1,000 words, and that is intended to promote and operate a business.
In my next post, I'll describe a miniblog business model.
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