A quick FAQ on what Twitter is. Twitter is a micro-blogging platform where all posts must be 140 characters or less. It basically lets you do quick posts that your friends and family can follow and respond to.

Twitter had allowed you to send in messages via your cell phone but due to some problems it was down for a few weeks (estimated the time). The SMS feature has again been enabled and appears to be working – I dont currently use it but have seen others. So as of now you can use a 3rd party Twitter application, your cell phone, the website, or a instant messenger.

When talking to someone you use the @ symbol + their nick name. The one thing to note about this is that the person will only see the message if they are “following” your rants, err tweets (what a post on twitter is called).

An example of a “tweet” would be: @daver nice blog post

and I would respond @youperson thanks :)

Now that the Twitter 101 is over let me get onto the quick review.

I like Twitter, a lot. Yes it has its issues but with a big group of people I know on it I dont mind some of them.

Pros:

  1. I have a large number of people I follow and a lot more I could. Other services have a few people – whats social if there is no one to talk to?
  2. Was first. Back to the # of people using it, being first in this case means having the user base. Who wants to update Facebook, Twitter, Pownce, and 4 other apps the same thing at the same time? Not me.
  3. Integration of IM client, Phone, 3rd party apps, web site, and ability to use them in combination.
  4. How simple it is. It is as easy as rant, hit enter and done.
  5. The developers continue to add features and clean up the UI and appearance.
  6. The concept. Many other imitators are out there now and some do things better and some things worse. It was the first however so it gets points for that.
  7. Integration with Facebook. I dont currently use this but a lot of people have twitter on their Facebook profile.
  8. 3rd party apps that allow you to feed Twitter from a WordPress blog.
  9. 3rd party apps that allow you to feed your WordPress blog your Tweets.

Cons:

  1. The outages. How many times a day must I see the upside down bird?
  2. Missing tweets or not seeing them show up. I think this is a “feature”.
  3. Groups, or lack of. Pownce allows groups and when you get a large number of people to follow can be very handy.
  4. Conversations – hard to follow at times. If you have a conversation with someone I would like to see a thread, i.e. let me view the dialogue in one place.
  5. Search. Let me search just my own tweets and/or those of my friends.
  6. Link the direct messages. If you send me a direct message and I respond, put that it is in response to DM 12894393 and link to that DM (assuming I have not erased it).

After looking at it, my Cons list is more a list of things that bug me or features I want. But in the end they are Cons one way or another. I am trying to use Jott and Pownce and Jaiku more and will review them when I have enough good and bad to rant about.

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