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June 09, 2008

A Sucky Interface is Better Than No Interface

By Li Evans

Twitterwhale I <3 Twitter.

I hate that stupid whale.  I also hate seeing "Limited Exceeded, Updates Paused for 5 minutes" which really turns into 15-30 minutes.

I really don't like Plurk all that much.  I think it has a sucky, un-user friendly interface.  I think it's like setting 8 years olds loose in Dylan's Candy Bar.  There is so much going on, you can't figure out where or how to get things to work, and there's no way to really track people who are "@"ing at you.  In Dylan's do you go for the new candy, or the retro candy, do you keep your eyes on the 8 year olds, or do you go after that last bag of Charleston Chews?  This is what Plurk is like for me.

I find Plurk very distracting.  Not clean and easy like Twitter, I think that has to do with my programming background where I love clean linear code.  I couldn't even think of letting a client near Plurk at this time.  Maybe that's good for Plurk - less marketers.

But here's the thing.  At least there is an interface to have a conversation on.  A sucky interface is better than no interface at all Twitter.  I'm not alone in thinking this either, some of your most prolific twitterers, are now holding their conversations on Plurk.

Today is the WWDC (world wide developers conference) by Apple, where Steve Jobs is expected to unveil the new iPhone.  The last conference Steve Jobs was at, Twitterers brought down Twitter in the blink of an eye.  Scoble himself has raised your ire, because he is a prolific user (and can likely bring your service down too).  You're scalability issues have now become your Achilles heel.

Today, we're slowed to 10 requests an hour.  Heck I'm not even getting that coming through, and when I go to Twitter's page, instead of using Twhirl, I get that stupid whale picture.

Twitter, you just got funding.  Twitter, you really need to wake up and realize, people will go where the conversations are happening, right now that conversation isn't happening on your service because you are always BROKEN or limiting the use.  Dear Twitter, use your funding to fix this, and fix it fast.

Twitter, your conversations are going to Plurk - no matter how sucky I think their interface is.

*Hattip to Mack Collier for the inspirational blog post title.


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Good one Li. I like plurk, the timeline especially. Also you can respond quickly and don't have to type @someone. Don't care much for karma points, not really all that rewarding but I do like the sucky interface. As you said, it's better than none.

I have to agree, the interface is atrocious! However, with Twitter's less than perfect track record I often find myself jumping over to Plurk just to see what's going on. Sadly I don't see people using Plurk to share information as much as they do on Twitter. I guess only time will tell, but my hopes are that Twitter gets its act together so we can all go back to the simpler things in life.

How much money did Twitter raise so for? And what exactly did they spend it on, if not a better server structure?

Hey Matt -
Thanks for stopping by and asking. I believe that Twitter just raise 15 million in their last round. I also believe they are putting a lot of that towards infrastructure, but don't quote me on that. Their blog I think states what they next goals are. Just wish that if it is infrastructure, they work faster on it, these outages and throttling of messages just really sucks.


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