Until recently all I really thought I knew about Twitter was:
- Celebrities post random things.
- There’s also lots of gamedevs and other developers on there posting interesting things.
- It can be used as a networking and marketing (both successful and unsuccessful) tool.
Reading OJ’s Why I use Twitter post was the kick up the backside to give Twitter another look. I think the one thing that tipped it for me was the sharing of links. I already have an rss feed of Morgan McGuire who periodically posts really interesting links but it’s rare that I discover anything new to read. The fact is, I really miss the sharing and following features of Google Reader where I was following a great set of people who kept me inundated with things to read – the Google+ sharing mechanism by comparison is a poor cousin of Google Reader and when they dropped the sharing feature from Reader, I lost the list of followers I had. I’m really hoping I can get back to that sharing model with Twitter.
To the iPhone
So, where to start. The first thing I wanted was an app for the iPhone since I assumed that’s where I’d mostly check for updates. The first thing I do on an app hunt is head to the Google rather than the App Store since you typically get comparisons in the reviews. It seemed like Google had left the wayback-machine on since the top hits appeared to come from an app called Tweetie. Taking a look, another article said Tweetie was no longer available and I was referred to the unsurprisingly named followup, Tweetie 2. Looking for information about Tweetie 2 another article lead onto Tweetie 3. And then guess what, after Tweetie 3 came… well apparently Twitter bought the devs and made the official Twitter app for the iPhone. That made choosing the app much easier.
I knew that Twitter had been better integrated into iOS with the most recent release, but other than having seen the Tweet button in Safari I really didn’t know much more about the Twitter integration – I didn’t even know where to start since I was still a Twitter novice. I found two articles on cnet.com, one about the Twitter integration and another with some tips and tricks.
The story so far
I’ve been using Twitter a few days now and I’d say the experience has been mostly positive. Initially I was surprised by the number of posts that were retweets, but I’ve come to think this is a good thing since it increases the chances of discovering somebody or something new – on day 1 I discovered something that I didn’t know and retweeted. I’m also finding it very interesting to watch conversations between others on Twitter.
The iPhone Twitter app isn’t bad. I’m slightly aggravated by the refresh which seems to stall when you swap to another app – maybe I’m spoiled by Byline and Safari which appear to happily load stuff in the background. Also both the iPhone app and website show posts in order of most recently posted which means you can lose your place and have to rediscover where you were or start reading conversations backwards. Having read Twitter’s own getting started guide, their intended focus, “reading Tweets and discovering new information whenever you check in on your Twitter timeline is where you’ll find the most value on Twitter,” leads me to believe that they’re more focused on you reading the latest information, rather than maintaining a coherent list of things to read.
I’m on Twitter as @dickyjimforster!