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The idea for this post was originally sparked by a post written on Robert Scoble’s blog. The post was about the “10 unwritten rules of twitter” and how he breaks all of them.

I was going to write about how I disagree with almost all of those rules and why, but that led me to a much greater appreciation of the internet. The mere fact that there can be a group of people that uphold these rules, and then another group that doesn’t follow any of them is what makes the internet so great. It is a free for all of ideas and opinions that (for the most part) don’t affect others unless they choose to be affected.

I am not telling anyone anything new here. We all know that you can do what you want on the internet and there isn’t any official governing body. I believe it gets interesting when you look beyond this. Beyond the fact that there are unwritten rules, and look closer at why some choose to break them.

The internet is a medium to distribute art. Everything on the internet is an expression of someone’s personality and creativeness. This is how the dispute of the rules of twitter came to be. Twitter is a means to distribute art. They are short phrases or ideas that can mean different things to different people. You can use those 140 characters (or more) to express what you are doing in your own creative way.

This is why we follow others on Twitter, we are entertained and intrigued by the short pieces of writing published for the world to see. In the same way that photographers portray different scenes in their own vision, twitterers can show their ideas and thoughts in their own unique way.

This begs the question, are these 10 rules bad? Not at all. Some of the best art is created when there are constraints imposed. Just because you are given a 3×3 inch piece of paper doesn’t mean you can’t create breathtaking pieces of art. By self imposing these 10 rules, you are giving yourself a framework in which to create your art. By imposing a rule of no more than 5 tweets a day, it can be argued that each of those tweets should be of higher quality than if you produce 20 or 30. On the same token, people may thrive better when they can do how they please with their own set of guidelines.

Examples are everywhere. The internet is composed of different pieces of art that are manifested in different forms. Each of these forms present their own constraints. They can be websites, tweets, blog posts, photos, web 2.0 apps, videos, screencasts, news articles, books, podcasts, and many more. Each of these have technical or self imposed limitations, yet can produce outstanding pieces of art.

I’m not claiming that this is new in any way. The world around us is full of art. Architecture, decorations of a room, landscapes, cars, advertisements, books to name a few. The internet allows us to transcend the physical boundaries of our world to enjoy art created by people outside of our physical reach. That is the true treasure of the internet. This is what makes our world special.

In the end, break those rules or follow them. When it comes down to it, you are creating art in your own way. There is nothing wrong with either and there is nothing wrong when you disagree. If you disagree, write about it so we can all enjoy your insight and the little piece of art that you are bringing to the internet.

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