Social networking messaging. Greatest thing ever or biggest time wasting tool? I’m on three of them [not counting Facebook or any of those type of sites]: Twitter, Pownce and Plurk. Most of my regular visitors are Twittering, Powncing or Plurking…. or doing all three.
There’s at least 30 or so Twitter-clones that have popped up over the last couple of years, like FriendFeed and Jaiku, but I really don’t have much interest in joining any more of them. If I bitch about the time I spend on the three I’m on now, imagine how much time would get consumed between just 10 of them. I just don’t want to know.
For now, I’ll give you my take on the main three.
The first site I joined, back in April 2008. Twitter is the king of the castle, when it comes to social networking messaging. A lot of people use it over all of the other ones. And with a multitude of applications, web interfaces, iPhone apps and mobile web access, there’s no shortage of options for sending Tweets [or as Hilly and Winter like to call them: Twats.]
- Easy to send quick notes on what I’m doing
- Share a link to a site or article that I like
- Reply either to the public timeline or using direct message
- Need to use multiple interfaces/applications to be effective and useful
- Replies get lost in the mix using the default web interface
- The site can be down a lot [although it’s been stable lately]
Regardless of the mix of loves and hates, Twitter isn’t all that bad. And they’ve even added an Election 2008 piece that shows all of the Twitter messages that are election subjected. My only hope is that all of the servers can handle this increased and continued traffic without blowing up.
This site is the brainchild of many people, Kevin Rose [of Digg.com fame] being one of them. Curiously, Kevin’s a very popular Twitter member…. you would think he would want to promote this site over Twitter. Oh well. For me, I think Pownce is a great site. The interface is clean and looks nice and it’s easy to navigate. You can reply to each Pownce post, with the replies kept with the post. There’s obviously less people here, compared to Twitter, which is nice in a reduced-traffic sort of way. You also have the option to go PRO, which costs extra per year. But it gives you increased message size and the ability to post more than just text and web links.
- The site is hardly ever down
- There’s an iPhone/iPod touch app that works nice.
- Mobile web interface looks nice and easy to use
- Not as many people as Twitter [maybe I’ve just not found everyone yet]
- Mobile web interface is slooooow
I would like to use Pownce more, but need more people to migrate over. Until that happens, and they fix some of the mobile slowness, I will spend the majority of my time over on Twitter.
This has been a johnny-come-lately site, but it’s starting to stake some claim. The interface is a timeline, showing each person’s plurk post. You can also reply to each plurk post, similar to Pownce. This can get messy if you follow a lot of Plurkers, but I would imagine it’s manageable [I only have 17 friends so far]. Also, the more you Plurk, the more karma you get. Plurk less and your karma goes down. It’s a different concept of getting people to post more often [not that some people need an excuse]. There’s a mobile interface, too
- Timeline interface is easy to follow
- Reply to individual plurk posts
- Karma increments slower once you reach 50
- Mobile web interface sucks… errors out a lot
- No separate mobile or desktop Plurk apps
Plurk is different, and that’s good. But as with Pownce, they really need to improve the mobile web interface [and allow some desktop and phone applications to be developed] before I’ll start using it more often. I log in each day and post a few things here and there, but holding back on the flood gates.
As a side note, Ping.fm is a site that lets you post to multiple social networking sites all at once. There’s a few people that I follow on multiple sites that I know use this. While it’s cool and works for some, right now, it’s not something I would like to do. I tend to personalize each service I’m on. While that’s some work, it’s something I don’t mind doing to take some of that “one size fits all” away from my messaging.
Where are you at?
Are you on either of these? I know most of you regulars are. Are there other sites I should check out? Any Twitter, Pownce or Plurk software that you’ve got installed on your computer or phone that makes any of these easier to use? Chat me up in the comments.