Thursday, October 18, 2007

From Pownce back to Twitter, through Facebook

It's a little difficult to keep up with all the status-updater/micro-blogger type of apps (Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku, etc).  What's worse, until recently, Facebook was disconnected from all of them, requiring its own periodic attention.

My own understanding of the utility of micro-blogging is still in development.  But unfortunately, to know how to apply the app, one must use it regularly to see how it fits into his work flow.

After playing with Twitter some, and having few friends "tweet," I moved on to Pownce.  In comparing the two I actually came out in favor in Pownce back in July.  Pownce actually has a more powerful feature set.  But the usability of a social networking application sometimes has less to do with its features and more do to with its interconnectivity and the social cloud around it.  In other words, if it doesn't connect to anything, and/or your friends don't use it, it's pointless.

I still don't have many close friends "tweet-ing", but I do have quite a lot of friends on Facebook.  And so I've been doing most of my status-updating there.  Also, both Pownce and Twitter have released Facebook apps that offer functionality from within Facebook.  I dutifully installed both of those apps, but still knew something was missing.

Then I learned that the Facebook status messaging is also available in an RSS feed.  So in an attempt to keep all my status-messaging synced, I added the FB feed to Pownce and then, using Yahoo Pipes and TwitterFeed, fed it all into Twitter.  Actually, I'm not sure how I built this house-of-messaging-cards, but it did work, though teeteringly so.

Recently two developments have sorted it all out for me:

  1. The FaceBook Twitter app added the ability to set Facebook status through Twitter.  That is, tweet in Twitter and it shows up as your Facebook status. 
  2. The creative folks at TechHit created a little app called OutTwit.  From their website: "Now you can update your Twitter status and follow your friends without having to open any other applications. OutTwit seamlessly integrates Twitter into Outlook." 

These two developments have me sold (again? temporarily?) on Twitter.  The first means that I don't have to have FB open to update my status.  it also means I can update my status in one place and have it reliably replicate elsewhere.  The second mean that I can both tweet and follow fellow Twitterers in the one application that is always open on my desktop.

And so the experiment continues.  Though I keep reading blog articles (like this one) trumpeting the productivity or business uses for Twitter (or micro-blogging in general), I've yet to find its niche in my life.  Closer integration into FB and the OutTwit plug-in bring it close to ubiquity.




Then I found an Outlook plug-in for Twitter, called OutTwit via Mashable


SQJTaipei said...

Yeah... I'm not sure why I need Pownce either. Especially since... like you... I'm trying to streamline and simplify instead of add more. I quit checking Pownce a while ago. I haven't tried twitter yet... but I guess I will based on your post. You've also got me close to trying Outlook again after YEARS away from it. I SO love the idea of Thunderbird... and actually LOVE it for email... but the tasks/todo/calendar keeps calling out to me as I just can't find a way to make sunbird work for me. Argh. Can you post more about what you like about OneNote sometime?

Jeff said...

SQJ, I'm with you. I liked Pownces features, but it does way more than I need.

Outlook 2007 completely rocks, in my opinion. The task management is awesome, syncs with my Treo, and Plaxo, subscribes to our team calendar on GCal, etc. Maybe Thunderbird does all that too...I'm not sure.

I'm working on a OneNote post right now that I hope to finish soon. OneNote and Outlook keep it all together for me.

Thanks for taking the time to comment!