I hate Twitter.
It's always down, it's full of spambots, and 140 characters is just too short. If I find myself going back to shorten words to cram them in, then there's something wrong. It can't be my fault - I don't know any big words!
With that out of the way, hopefully it's clear I'm a Twitter Fanboi. Infact, you could probably conclude that I'm a Google Fanboi. I host my domains at Google, I use their email (Apps for Domain - all free!), I even wrote this blog in Python - a language I've never used before, to host on App Engine. I'm a Google Trusted tester, and have been beta testing new features in Buzz for a few months. I'd go and work for Google at the drop of a hat.
Hate Twitter, Love Google, but Ditching Buzz? WTF?
It might sound a bit crazy, but there are good reasons. And in the interests of being constructive, I'm going to list them here. Some of them might (will) contradict things said above, but tough. That's how it is.
- Not enough people using it. It's catch 22, but all the people I want to follow do not use Buzz, so I have to use Twitter too. I don't need two services doing (mostly) the same thing.
- Posts are too long. This might sound stupid given I said Twitter was too short, but the problem with Buzz is that it takes too long to catch up with things. I should be able to skip over a summary of posts, with a link to read more for the things that entice me. Twitter got the number of characters wrong, but the idea of restricting things right. I can skim over 24 hours of Twitter in 5 minutes. Not true of Buzz.
- Google Buzz still can't sort properly. This one really bugs me. Googlers suggested muting, but this is a pain in the ass, and will also break Google's clever algorithm that learns what I want to read. I want to read it - I just don't want comments sending it to the top!
- There are no decent iPad clients. I love Twitterrific on my iPad. Buzz doesn't have any decent clients (seemingly on any platform). I don't like web-based apps, they just aren't written to work with the device, and they're slow. I totally get that Google want to be web-based and work on all platforms. That really is great - but they will definitely lose out a little against clients written specifically for a device.
Some of these reasons are linked - eg. a decent client would surely sort properly :-) However, one of the problems that a third party can't solve is that it's impossible to render a decent "summary" of a Buzz post. The web application shows the first few lines, but this rarely represents the content of the article.
I totally believe Google Buzz could easily become a better service than Twitter (Apples to Oranges, I know, but there isn't really need for both). Unfortunately it has some major issues that just make it hard for me to use. It's entirely possible that my use case is wrong, and that it's a fantastic service for other people. For me, however, it just doesn't fit. It's like a lame version of Google Reader, without the awesome third party iPad apps.
In the interests of getting feedback from people that might not visit to leave comments, I'll be following this post in Google Buzz too, though it's probably the only thing in Buzz I will be following!