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Simple is better. For food.

Shorter is better. For writing.

But deceptively, simple and shorter is hard. Very hard. Both in food and in writing.

Can’t go wrong with fat-laced beef ribs, boiled for hours on end, succulent, tender, moist. My wife – Chef de Cuisine and Saucier of our household – literally spent an entire day with those ribs. First draining excess blood in ice cold water, boiling the ribs once to rid of “some” of the fat, marinating the ribs in a masterful blend of soy sauce, garlic, green onions and black pepper, re-boiling the ribs until the delicate meat is ready to fall off the bones.

In the end, this is what it “boils” down to.

A bowl of hot broth that will send your favorite pho joint scurrying away. Chunks of tender ribs, melt-in-your-mouth like Land-O-Lakes butter. Radish, oh that radish, so flavorful after soaking up the beef juices and fat for hours. And a lot of fresh, chopped scallions.

Simple yet a product of one painstaking process.

Twitter is the same way. The 140-character limit for each tweet forces you to extract everything of your writer’s brain, down to the last nibble. Writing ten-thousand word blahs are relatively easy, filled with fluffy fillers and endless jargon. But expressing the essence of what you want to say, in a way that intrigues followers, is damn hard.

As the great Thomas Jefferson once said, “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”

For me personally, editing is dreadfully tougher than writing. Editing – mainly, making shit shorter – takes a surgeon’s meticulous yet crude skills, cutting away of all unnecessary excess, one morsel at a time. Blood spurts, nerves are shocked, but in the end, that one masterful tweet, is one of purity.

So before we curse Twitter’s word limit, let us choose our words carefully.

My Twitter account has eighteen followers. Anemic at best. I blame my rather lackluster response speed to social media in general. I also blame the lack of Twitter-crazy friends who’d follow me without arm-twisting threats to do so.

Bourdain has over one million followers.

The difference?

When I tweet about rumors regarding a possible bilateral investment treaty between Korea and the new government of Myanmar, eighteen people will see it pop up in their Home page. Of those eighteen, half never sign into their Twitter account. Of the remaining nine, half probably couldn’t care less about BITs.

When Bourdain tweets about his extraordinarily delicious dinner at Blue Ribbon Bakery, one million people see it. Of those one million, many are enthused, crazed Twitterians. Of those one million, many care about good food. Of those one million, many will flock to Blue Ribbon Bakery because Bourdain said so on Twitter.

That is influence.

I was never a true believer in Facebook, and hate it more after its flopped IPO (force-feeding me their “timeline” was a shove over the edge). I still doubt the value and purpose of other forms of social media, like Foursquare (seriously, we don’t care that you’ve checked into your office for the thirtieth time).

But Twitter is different. I gauge its value differently. It is the most efficient way to self-advertise one’s values and messages. Its true strength is in its ability to spread like wild fire. Retweets spread the message to an exponential number of followers, and the fire continues, as long as the wind is blowing. And hey, the iPhone app is east to use.

“Power Twitterians” can be influential vessels to spread any message. Particularly during an election year, politicians in both Korea and the U.S. are poised to lure in key influencers from all walks of life. A few tweets from a Power Twitterian will easily reach millions, and more importantly, people will actually listen. Because X said so, not the damn politician.

A new breed of influence, in the palm of your hand.

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