It always helps to know how something started!
The first microblogs were known as tumblelogs. The term was coined by “why the lucky stiff” in a blog post on April 12, 2005, while describing Christian Neukirchen’s Anarchaia.
Blogging has mutated into simpler forms (specifically, link- and mob- and aud- and vid- variant), but I don’t think I’ve seen a blog like Chris Neukirchen’s Anarchaia, which fudges together a bunch of disparate forms of citation (links, quotes, flickrings) into a very long and narrow and distracted tumblelog.
Jason Kottke described tumblelogs on October 19, 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. They remind me of an older style of blogging, back when people did sites by hand, before Movable Type made post titles all but mandatory, blog entries turned into short magazine articles, and posts belonged to a conversation distributed throughout the entire blogosphere. Robot Wisdom and Bifurcated Rivets are two older style weblogs that feel very much like these tumblelogs with minimal commentary, little cross-blog chatter, the barest whiff of a finished published work, almost pure editing…really just a way to quickly publish the “stuff” that you run across every day on the web…
However, by 2006 and 2007, the term microblog was used more widely for services provided by established sites like Tumblr and Twitter. Twitter for one is especially popular in China, with over 35 million users tweeting in 2012, according to a survey by GlobalWebIndex
As of May 2007, there were 111 microblogging sites in various countries. Among the most notable services are Twitter, Tumblr, FriendFeed, Cif2.net, Plurk, Jaiku and identi.ca. Different versions of services and software with microblogging features have been developed. Plurk has a timeline view that integrates video and picture sharing. Flipter uses microblogging as a platform for people to post topics and gather audience’s opinions. Emote.in has a concept of sharing emotions, built over microblogging, with a timeline. PingGadget is a location based microblogging service. Pownce, developed by Digg founder Kevin Rose among others, integrated microblogging with file sharing and event invitations. Pownce was merged into SixApart in December 2008.
Other leading social networking websites Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google+ and XING, also have their own microblogging feature, better known as “status updates”. Although status updates are usually more restricted than actual microblogging in terms of writing, it seems any kind of activity involving posting, be it on a social network site or a microblogging site, can be classified as microblogging.
Can you describe the difference between a pure microblogging site and a microblogging service inside of a social network?