Tag: kirkpatrick

Blame it on the Twitter!

I have been very quiet on this blog for the last few weeks – apologies for that but I can’t promise on the pace returning to the two or three posts a day I was averaging at times last year.

Why? I have been spending a lot of time on the micro-blogging site, Twitter.

Twitter is a site where you have a maximum of 140 characters per post but instead of a traditional blog site, these posts are typically conversational. Because of the immediacy of writing 140 characters, reading and responding to ‘Tweets’ is relatively trivial and so conversations are born.

Marshall Kirkpatrick wrote a great article last year explaining how Twitter is now paying his rent.

And because of the still early nature of the application, it is possible to very quickly build up a powerful network of highly influential users who are only too happy to converse with you. I have met several people recently who, up until now I only knew through Twitter.

Another way I use Twitter is I often pose questions to Twitter and get great replies back from highly qualified people in minutes.

My Twitter Replies tab

Twitter has an open API so it is possible to use third party applications to post to and read from Twitter. Currently I am using twhirl on my laptops (twhirl is a cross-platform desktop client for twitter, based on Adobe AIR) and twibble on my phone. Snitter is another cross-platform Twitter desktop client which gets a lot of good reviews.

Dave Weinberger called it “continuous partial friendship” but I think it goes beyond that. The term Ambient Intimacy has been coined to cover one of the aspects of Twitter – it brings you a lot closer to people you might ordinarily never get to know (if you decide you don’t want to know them, you simply stop following them!).

Whatever it is, it is growing in popularity steadily and it was how I and many others chose to remain connected over the holiday period.

If you want to follow me, here is my Twitter profile.

Finally, an outstanding online RSS reader

I have had issues with Google Reader (Google’s online RSS/feed reader) in the past but in the latest update to Google Reader, released today most of those issues have been addressed.

Google Reader

Lots of people are posting opinions on this from Marshall Kirkpatrick on TechCrunch to Robert Scoble on Scobleizer to Richard McManus on the ReadWrite Web and all the reviews are effusive in their praise!

I’m not surprised. This time Google seem to have got it right. The old “Lens” look of the old Google Reader was, to my mind, sacrificing usability for looks. Now, you have a reader with a simple, fast interface not lacking in functionality. It even has a river of news option with an infinite scroll. And if you liked the old interface you can revert to that in the settings page too!

Added functionality includes the ability to create folders, bulk delete subscriptions, star, share, email and tag posts.

Several commentators have pointed to the continuing lack of integration with Google’s Blogsearch but personally with the dire state that is in, I think this is a good thing!

I have been slow to recommend online rss readers in the past but I think with the new Google Reader that has just changed.