After spending some more time with it, I’ve got a definite love-hate relationship with Twitter. The things I hate about it, I hate with a passion not out of some grumpy old man sorta way, but the fact that Twitter is way too feature-sparse to be one of the biggest Web 2.0 success stories. My two biggest gripes :
- The reliance on @ and # shorthand for the most basic of “social networking” functionality is ridiculous. In 2009, there’s no reason why there should be as steep learning curve for something as basic as “Send a message about ____ to _____”. Even worse, Twitter barely even supports this syntax, lacking autocomplete, message threading, or the ability to figure out what a #topic is all about without resorting to Google.
- The 140-character limit is crap. It’s not “zen-like” or “minimalist”, it’s just a limitation built around the 160-character limitation of text messages (which itself is a total scam). The 140-character limit has also led to a big reliance on URL-shortening services, which are evil.
That said, I do appreciate a micro-blogging platform that’s easy to integrate into my main site and supports posting via cell phone and IM, so I’ve reluctantly started using it more and more (thus the abundance of one-sentence posts here). It’s ubiquitous and sorta-cool, but overall I still think Twitter is horrible not because of what it’s trying to be, but because it falls far short of being as great as it should.