Wednesday, January 02, 2008

tweetless

I've read a love letter for twitter but Twitter has been a cruel mistress for me.

At first, I thought I'd try it out, and we quickly fell in love. However its interface was a problem for me. I'm not alone in this, which might be why there are so many alternative interfaces for it online. I discovered that the SMS interface was perfect for me. I like to spend time off line, but in contact. True, for a while my phone felt like a tamagochi, but I made friends. Actually met people in Tweet ups and experienced its back channel possibilities. I tried out Jaiku and loved it too. True that “tweeting” via SMS cost a bit, due to the price of an international text, but it was worth it.

On the SMS front, all broadcast posts are also sent to your phone as a text (if you express the choice). On Jaiku all the people you add as contacts have their first or initial post arrive on your phone. Only replies to your posts are SMSed to you. It's actually hard to reply to a post via SMS on Jaiku, you have to start the text with the name of the intended recipient, this means that it might appear as a separate post, but the right person will look at it. You can receive an unlimited number of texts from Jaiku, but given the reply structure, the numbers are low.

On Twitter you can choose who arrives to your phone via SMS. However you receive every post they make to Twitter, since threaded replies are not possible on their system. They also limit the number of posts you can receive to 250 a week. The first day they started this was during the IT@Cork conference (in Cork naturally). The limit was hit by every attendant before the end of the day.

The limit means that I miss out on most of the friends I've made there. I have an old phone. I can't install the mobile client for Twitter on it. Simply put, I can't afford a new phone. I also like not having to remain online to see the conversation. Maybe it's me. Maybe I shouldn't have such high expectation for mobile communications but I LIKE to be spoilt.

The limit means that I've lost a lot from Twitter. If there is an offline client, let me know! (google reader gets filled really quickly with tweets)

Should I dedicate an RSS reader just to my friends?

Any ideas?

Take care
Will Knott

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