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January 28, 2007

Giving Twitter a Try

TwitterificLately I've been hearing quite a bit about Twitter, the Web 2.0 equivalent of the IM status message. I was finally compelled to register an account (everythingdigital), and so far have had a mixed experience with the service.

I think the idea behind Twitter is excellent, and some of the third party apps that are being developed for it are really looking great (I use Twitterrific). The public timeline is very interesting to watch, especially during major events such as sports games or the Macworld Expo. I haven't tried SMS or IM updating yet, but I expect it would add a whole new dimension to the equation.

On the downside, there are a couple quirks with the web site that I find a bit frustrating. Most notable is the rather odd user search functionality, basically consisting of a text box on the home page. I have tried searching for a couple people with it, and it took me a good deal of time to realize that the miniature images that were appearing beneath the text box were actually the search results. This means that to find the person you are looking for, you must move your mouse over each image until a name pops up in the hover text and you can see if it is correct, not a very convenient way to perform an activity so central to Twitter.

Also, the 148-character limit on posts can be a bit restricting, although I can understand the need to keep updates short and sweet. What I have a harder time understanding is the 160-character limitation on direct messages to friends. I can't see what is gained by placing such a small size limit on what is essentially email within the Twitter system.

Despite these complaints, I do find Twitter to be an interesting and entertaining service that I recommend everyone try out, even if it's not going to replace your RSS reader and IM client.

Posted by Alan Joyce at January 28, 2007 02:35 PM

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Hello Alan...

Here is you're french podcast listener.... not hearing much podcast from you lately ;)

I give a try to Jaiku ! A friend of mine used tumblr and tried to convinced me, but I didn't get the point at that moment. I heard about Twitter, and didnt get the points either (this was for 3 months or so). I googled the web and found jaiku, which "suited" my requirement.... I really find ir better than twitter because :
- has a good web 2.0 design
- text is short (140 chars.) but you can have icons
- any body can add a note, not only members
- non members can find, explore, search all profile (not possible with twitter)...
- can belong to groups

Well, I really find it more open than twitter :)

bw the 160 characters limitations is coming from the SMS length !

Take care.


Posted by: Olivier at May 8, 2007 10:21 AM

Hey Olivier! Good to hear from you.

I agree that Jaiku probably has more features, but everybody seems to be using Twitter. I guess they just had better timing than Jaiku, but for now they appear to be the more popular service.

About the 160 characters, I understand that there are limitations on the SMS side, but it would be nice if they had the option for "extended posts" or something that could be longer, but only viewable on the web (rather than SMS).

Posted by: Alan Joyce at May 8, 2007 03:50 PM

Oh, and on the topic of there not being many new podcasts from me, I've got several interesting projects in development, so stay tuned.

Posted by: Alan Joyce at May 8, 2007 03:52 PM

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