I’ve been a fan of Twitter for quite some time now. I would love to be able to tell you how long I’ve been a user, but the archives only go back a week or so and there’s no other indication of when I became a Twitter member. Along with it’s archives, Twitter has been plagued with uptime issues, so much so that they’ve created an entire blog to it’s uptime status (or lack there of) at http://status.twitter.com. By the way, if you don’t know what Twitter is, I highly recommend the Twitter in Plain English video.
Twitter is a victim of it’s own success, that’s for sure, but I’m sticking with the service because that’s where my friends are. However it dawned on me today that this may not be the case for much longer. Why? Because of the interface I use to interact with Twitter — Instant Messenger.
One of the coolest things about Twitter is that you can interface with the service from many different avenues. I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but here’s a quick list of ways you can post to and receive updates from Twitter:
- Directly through the web site
- 3rd party applications like Twitterific and Twhirl
- 3rd party web sites like Hahlo (mostly for the iPhone, or site specific browsers like Fluid, Bubbles
- An Instant Messenger (IM)
For me it’s the last method that I use the most. I use AdiumX, which is a multi-protocol instant messenger. It allows me to be logged into AIM, GoogleTalk, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, and MSN Messenger all at the same time. If you’re not on a Mac and this interests you, be sure to check out Pidgin, or Trillian. The point is that for me sending “tweets” and receiving updates from my friends have always occurred via IM. I already had a habit of leaving AdiumX open, so adding Twitter as a “buddy” seemed like the natural thing to do. Not only that, but it was one less thing open and running on my desktop, which can get rather cluttered.
Unfortunately when Twitter started scaling back it’s services in order to salvage as much uptime as possible, the first thing to go was IM support and a month later it’s still unavailable. They’ve added back updates a few weeks ago, but at best I have a one-way conversation since I’m unable to post via IM. The end result of all the outages is that I’m left wondering if it’s even worth the trouble.
When Twitter easily integrated into my established habits, it was easy to submit an update here or there, but now there’s an obstacle. I either have to launch a web page, or a special app and there’s a better than 50% chance that the service is down all-together. So perhaps my relationship with Twitter is rather shallow, or it’s just become more difficult than it’s worth, but right now Twitter is becoming less and less relevant for me.
What about you?