News reporting has the inverted pyramid, the anecdotal lede, Strunk & White and the AP Stylebook. Now Twitter has a style guide as well, now arriving in a bookstore near you: “140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form” by Twitter co-creator Dom Sagolla.
As the New York Times summed up when the book was first announced back in February, a good tweet is simple, honest, employs humor and does not go overboard (In the book, Sagolla points to “bathroom tweets” as an example of this.)
I recently came across this Twitter update from the LA Times’s Steve Lopez, that I think perfectly embodies those elements:
Now that’s a tweet! It’s not too much information. It’s not too little information. It’s not about what the writer just ate. It’s intriguing, and I’m hooked.
Feel free to share links to exemplary tweets you’ve come across.Alexandra Fenwick is an assistant editor at CJR.