On Twitter, Jaiku & Pownce

If you follow my tweets on Twitter you would have seen my Twitter breakdown on Thursday (07/05/2007). It really wasn’t Twitter‘s fault, it was some of the tweets I was getting that apparently sent me over the edge. Some of my problem is the number of tweets I might get on any given day can be overwhelming. I have added a lot of people as “friends” even if I didn’t know who they were prior to their adding me. I will add anyone who adds me if I think they tweet about anything even remotely interesting, and/or their profile is interesting, and I am positive they are not just “friend whores” or spammers. This can result in tweet storms sometimes and, well, I was having a bad day Thursday.

Twitter is gloriously simple and that is what makes it so beautiful. What are you doing in 140 characters or less. Do you really need to say more than that to tell people what you are doing? If you do, that is what blogs are for. I send all tweets (with the exceptions of feeds) straight to my phone and should one contain a link to something that looks better on the computer when followed I check it out when I get back to a desk.

The TwitterGrams became quite popular especially with Robert Scoble this week. They were driving me bonkers because I HAD to follow a link to find out what the tweet was about. Do I really want to do this from my phone? No. Do I want to save more than a dozen tweets to lookup when I get back to my desk? No. Twitter gives me all I need to know in 140 characters or less and should I want to know more I have the option of following links. TwitterGrams give me no info other than a TwitterGram has been sent. I have NO inkling what it is about. I compare them to partial RSS feeds; the title of the post and a sentence doesn’t tell me enough about the post itself to warrant a click through when I am trying to parse through thousands of feeds every week. Half the time I feel duped after clicking through only to find out it is something I didn’t want to read or that the title had nothing to do with the post. I still click through with full RSS feeds; feeds are not a substitute for site visits, just a way for me to get through more info in less time. I am anti-click. 😉

Back to the topic of TwitterGrams… I think they have a place after listening to one finally. They are actually really nifty but I am not convinced they are a replacement for a text post to Twitter. If Twitter is micro-blogging, then TwitterGrams are micro-podcasting. Do I have an idea of where they belong? Not yet.

On the topic of Jaiku (which is all I could seem to tweet about on Thursday):

I signed up for a Jaiku account on the sly when the whole Leo Laporte and TWiT v. Twitter thing went down so I could see what was going on over there. I never really used it alot for several reasons:

  1. No US SMS
  2. All my friends were at Twitter
  3. No US SMS

On the other hand, there are a lot of neat things that Jaiku does that Twitter doesn’t. Jaiku links to the thread of replies (not just the last reply) so you can see everything that is being said if you don’t have friends in common with everyone replying. Jaiku has built in feed support so that you can use it to update everyone on everything you have all over the internet. Jaiku allows pictures and icons in your posts as well. which makes things pretty. And lastly, Jaiku has channels which allow you to post to everyone in a group that might have something in common with you but that aren’t on your friends list. Truly fancy.

Because of these fancy features I headed over to Jaiku for a day. I added some more contacts including some friends from Twitter. I created a channel. I wrote some updates. Then I pretty much stopped using it again. It is cluttered. All these feeds coming from people fill up my screen and frankly, I just don’t want to see that much crap in my stream. I am just as guilty as others on this as I have every feed from every where including my Wakoopa feed updating to Jaiku. Do you think my contacts really give a rats ass when I start using Firefox or switch over to check my email in Outlook? I don’t think so. Some networks don’t need to be running as a lifestream and should be checked manually if you want an update. (Note: I was reminded through a comment on Jaiku that users do have the ability to unsubscribe from contacts feeds without removing the contact.)

That said, I also started using Pownce. I felt special when I got hooked up with an invite last weekend and I signed up for the “exclusive” (*cough *cough) network, posted that I had invites available then gave them all out in a matter of hours. Pownce is nice, but I haven’t gotten good use out of it yet although I would LOVE to have something like that at work so I am not plagued with regular IMs. On Pownce I feel like I need to post something with quality content then I wind up frustrated and don’t post at all. Some of the finest tweets at Twitter (not saying my own) are random thoughts. I have writers block at Pownce.

To sum it up, this week I walked a mile in someone else’s 2.0 shoes and found myself coming back home to Twitter. There are a few features I would like to see added, but at the same time the simplicity is what makes it so great. Honestly, I hope the fine people at Twitter never get too development happy and just continue to work to make the backend application strong.

One response to “On Twitter, Jaiku & Pownce

  1. Nice write-up Linuxchic. I liked the terms “micro-podcasting” and “give a rat’s ass” 🙂

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