Since July, I’ve been trying out Twitter and its open-source competitor identi.ca. Both are microblogging sites, with Twitter being the largest and most well-established of them.
Both let you follow people with their 140-character updates via the web, or with alerts on your phone.
My dilemma involves how to make this work for me.
For some people, I’d like to get an alert as soon as they post an update. For others, maybe get a non-intrusive alert a couple of times a day. I want to get these notices on my computers, whichever one I’m using.
In theory, Twitter lets you follow updates on IM with Jabber. But their Jabber gateway has been down for literally a month now, and though they still have a note saying it will be back RSN, there’s little hope.
Identi.ca has a working Jabber gateway. But unlike Twitter, you can only specify if you want notices from everyone, or nobody; with Twitter, you can sign up for IM notices from just a few people. I already have a Jabber client on all my machines.
So here are my options:
First, I could just use the Twitter and Identica web interfaces only. Not really all that appealing; I don’t want to have to go load up a webpage a few times a day. Also it is annoying to have to open a web browser, pull up a web page, just to enter 60 characters of status.
Second, I could use Twitterfox and Identifox firefox plugins. They look nice, but add yet more bloat to Firefox — and that’s two more plugins per machine to set up and maintain, not to mention that one machine is not aware of what I’ve already seen elsewhere. They do make it easier to post updates.
Third, I could use RSS feeds for reading in bloglines. Not all that realtime though.
Fourth, I could set up two Identica accounts, one which sends all notices to my IM and one which doesn’t. It’d be annoying, and still doesn’t solve my problem with Twitter at all.
Fifth, I could install some Twitter-watching app on all my machines. That’s annoying as it’s yet another piece of software to maintain everywhere, and yet another one to keep updated, AND if that wasn’t annoying enough, they still don’t know what I’ve seen everywhere.
How are all of you using Twitter or Identica?
Also, I’m curious how all these companies that use Twitter and instantly find out when anyone mentions Dell or JetBlue are able to do that. I don’t see a “search everyone’s tweets” feature anywhere.