At a Twittering Crossroad

I made a major change (for me) over the weekend.  I’ve been a big Seesmic fan and user since I decided to get into columned Twitter Browsing.  It seems so long ago that I used Twhirl as my Twitter client.  But, I tried a bunch and decided that the Seesmic Desktop would be the Twitter browser of choice for me.

It still is a favourite when running under Windows 7.  Sadly, though, I can’t get it to run on the Macintosh and didn’t even bother trying Ubuntu.  Instead, I jumped when it became available as an extension to Google Chrome.  In addition to the Twitter things that you would consider standard, it had some features that set it apart like adjustable column width, Facebook, Linked In, and an area for private messages that is distinctly different from regular messages so that you don’t end up making a mistake and posting something public that shouldn’t be.

From my perspective, it had it all.  The web version is a little lighter than the Desktop version but it doesn’t require Silverlight and it’s very easy to getting into monitoring things from just another tab rather than an entirely different program.  And since Google Chrome runs Windows, Macintosh, and Ubuntu, it’s good to go everywhere.

Then, somewhere around the time that Twitter implemented its t.co bundler, the web version broke.  I’m always careful to check URLs before clicking through.  Seesmic Desktop does a nice job of previewing the URL so that you get a sense of where you’re headed.  Seesmic Web has a preview URL icon that you physically click to see the potential destination.  No problem; I always do.  Instead of getting the URL, I’m now presented with:

So, I did all the things that you’re supposed to.  Since it’s on the web, clear the cache.  Try a different browser.  Reboot.  Nothing works.  The next step was to look through the Seesmic Help to see if there was something or a setting that I’m overlooking.  It doesn’t appear so.  Final step – try to contact the support people at Seesmic.  The first response was a pleasant reminver to clear the cache, try a different browser, reboot.  Still no fix.  But, now I had a name so I kept at it and finally got a message that it’s a known problem and to have patience.  I didn’t think it would be a big deal since the URL expander works on Desktop and on the Android version.  Couldn’t someone just run across the hall and talk to the other team members and find out how to do it?

I went for a while having patience.  This a major deal for me because, if you know me, I don’t have patience.  

Patience ended this morning.  I really wanted to click on a couple of links knowing that they were OK.  I’ve decided to make a change.  It was just a matter of choice though.  I had both Hootsuite and Tweetdeck for Google Chrome on the computer.  I really like Hootsuite and it might be the desired choice IF, and it’s a big IF, I could use bit.ly as my URL shrinker.  I’ve become addicted to bit.ly’s analytics and its ability to “trend yourself“.  Through the process of elimination, I’m using Tweetdeck.

I’ve used the standalone version before and it’s a nice, full-featured Twitter browser.  The Chrome version is definitely shorter on functionality and that’s to be expected.  Like most third party browsers, it had tried to push the envelope incorporating additional features.  It doesn’t take long to find complainers about the change in features now that Twitter has purchased Tweetdeck.  However, it does address my concerns about URL previews.

I’m making the change at least for a little while.  I’m having change issues at the moment with a black screen after so much white screen through Seesmic Web.  I’m still curious about the big open space at the right of the screen and wish that I could adjust column widths.  I just need to convince myself that change is good and I’ll get used to it.  If I get used to it before a fix to Seesmic Desktop comes around, I may be a convert.

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