Share/Save/Bookmark Subscribe

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Due to a recent combination of a lack of focus on a Friday afternoon, the temptation to optimise Natz' always-in-contact behaviour and some gremlins in Twitter's systems I recently tried out a couple of microblogging services and tools. I thought I'd write a quick summary of each of them with pros and cons as I see them. This list is by no means comprehensive, there are loads of similar services and tools out there, but these are the couple I tried. I'll leave the debate about the value (or lack thereof) of microblogging for another time ;)


Twitter is a microblogging service. Arguably the most popular service of it's kind, and probably the one to bring microblogging into the mainstream, Twitter is the epitome of simple. Type in a message of 140 characters or less, hit enter, and all your followers see the message. Replies and direct messages to specific users are possible too.

+ Simple as it gets.

+ Supported by loads of external apps and extended by third party service to add things like pictures and location mapping.

+ Integrates well with existing habits (SMS and IM)

- Stability over the time I've been using it is hardly impressive.


Plurk is a microblogging service. Similarly to Twitter, Plurk allows users to submit short status messages, but maps these on a graphic timeline and adds the concept of a conversation, as well as a karma score for activity on the service and a verb system.

+ Groups related messages in conversations.

+ Having a 'score' encourages users to be active and social.

+ Integrates with IM.

- Support from related services is limited, and application support is nonexistent.

- Replies in conversations are initially hidden, making a quick overview impossible and overcomplicating the service.

- Verbs really seem like a pointless addition and further complicates things.



HelloTXT is a social networking update service. The service aims to remove the pain of updating all your social networks, including microblogging services. The dashboard allows quick submission of updates to various services for non-members. Members can customize the services displayed on their dashboard and store the login details for each of their services.

+ Non-members can easily test out the service before signing up.

+ Support for a wide range of networks.

+ Mobile version of the site.

+ Support for sending images.

+ Individual services can be enabled and disabled for each update.

+ Email submission of updates.

+ SMS submission of updates.

- No IM integration.



A social network updating service. This service is very similar to HelloTXT, and has very similar network support. It is currently in limited beta, with beta codes available on request.

+ Support for a wide range of networks.

+ Mobile version of the site.

+ iPhone optimised version of the site.

+ IM integration.

+ Custom triggers to easily direct updates to specific networks.

+ Email submission of updates.

+ Multiple posting profiles to control which networks updates are sent to.

- No image support.


Twibble is a mobile twitter client. Twibble displays tweets from friends as well as submitting tweets. It has an interesting focus on location information, making it a good match for a phone like the N95 with an integrated GPS.

+ Easy to post tweets and view friends' tweets.

+ Easy integration of location data, including realtime GPS data.

+ Stable and quick.


Also a mobile twitter client. In the same vein as Twibble, TinyTwitter's distinguishing feature is that it downloads friends' profile pictures.

- Easy to post tweets and view friends' tweets.Friend profile pictures.

- Unstable and buggy.


Shozu is an excellent all round content submission tool. In addition to all it's other cool features (some of which I've covered here), it supports both Twitter and TwitPic. You can submit updates to Twitter and view friends' recent tweets. IF only it had a complete, integrated feed of your and your friends' tweets it would be a great option.

+ Easy to post tweets.

+ Twitpic support

- Clumsy separate views of your and friends' updates.



To round up, if it's not obvious from the above my choices would be Twitter, Twibble, HelloTXT or Ping.FM (they each have their advantages) and of course Shozu. Plurk really just overcomplicates things and TinyTwitter is inexcusably buggy.



Copyright 2007 All Right Reserved. shine-on design by Nurudin Jauhari. and Published on Free Templates