Jekyll and Hyde. On one side you have a nice person that works hard and strives for perfection. The other hand, you have a beast that will just tear apart what ever it comes in contact with. If you were to know Jekyll, would you accept the Hyde in him?
I think we do that with Twitter. On one hand we have a great interface that will keep us up to date with all our friends activities – wherever they may be. On the other hand, you have a unstable and sometimes untrustworthy portal that you cuss at when it’s down. And the funny thing is it doesn’t have to be that way.
Twitter has gone through some growing pains. At first it worked fine. But as more people started to pile on the wagon, the cart got closer to the ground and the wheels stopped working. I think that Twitters’ stance is “Bigger wheels” when they really need a good suspension unit.
Microblogging, Mass-IMing and powertexting. These are all terms I have heard, along with the infamous “Twittering” or “Tweeting”. Twitter has been around since 2006, and is definitely the leader in this fad. But there are other sites out there that can do the job just as well if not better.
Let’s start with the good of Twitter. It’s free. You can use the website to Twitter, you can use a cell phone. You have programs like twhril to manage the messages. Firefox has a plugin to monitor new tweets. You can put what you are doing Twitters on your Website to promote yourself. Twitter has been very open about how to post and recieve twitters. You don’t even need to be on Twitter products (like their website) to use it.
If you have a smartphone, you can use a program like Sqij or Tiny Twitter to manage your Twitters. You can even switch the webpage over to the “mobile” page so you can get them on your smartphones’ browser. If you have a non-internet cell phone, you can just text your twitters to 40404, after you set up the preferences in Twitter.
Now for the bad. Twitter is unreliable. Not only can you be denied access because the servers are too full, but you can miss others’ tweets because the service stops sending them.
Twitter also has a very archaic interface. The page is simple – which is good – but it also doesn’t give you the ability to move around in it too well.
Case in point. Yesterday I had 173 Followers. Today I have 174. I want to be able to find this person and possibly Follow them. However I have to wade through my 173 other users to find this one, and then I have to view their twitter to determine if I want to follow them.
It’s not like there isn’t any other sites out there that do the same thing. Pownce showed up a year later and has more features like photos and movies. You cannot, however, use some features unless you pay the yearly fee (it’s only $20, but then again, it’s $20).
Jaiku was around longer than Twitter. It is a service that Google just bought. I cannot say anymore than that, because the biggest downfall is that you have to get an invite to the site. I have requested one about 3 times in the last year and a half and am still waiting for a response.
Plurk is the newest Microblogger out there. It has a slightly different approach to this. They have an interesting “Stream” interface where you look through the Plurks horizontally instead of vertically. They also have a Karma system where the more you use the site, the higher the karma and new features get unlocked.
Plurks’ downfall is that they are a closed system. There is no Twhirl for Plurk yet. People keep asking for it, though so I would assume that is coming down the road. I myself wished there was a way to personalize the site so I can get the Plurks in a vertical pattern. The Stream method is ok, but it’s really hard to follow a specific topic.
Friendfeed pulls from all your sites and puts it in an easy to read spot. It’s very customizable. You can create rooms, and completely administer your friends content. The only thing I wish it could do better is search for friends. Otherwise, it’s a great microblog aggrigator. Oh yeah and also a Microblogger as you can put your bogs on there. Too bad you can’t Microblog on FriendFeed and have it aggrigate to your Twitter.
All in all, Twitter continues to be in the forefront. People are loyal to it, even when it’s down. They’ll complain about it and move on. Just look up LisaNova on YouTube (R-rated material on page). So in conclusion, I believe we will accept Hyde if we like Jeckll. Either that, or we just need something to complain about….