Thursday, December 12, 2013

Trying to deal with Twitter... differently...

So... some time back in this very blog I indicated that I didn't get twitter, and that I didn't use it.  That changed as I found myself trying to update people in my neighborhood about local fire related items and events. I found a place for twitter.

I used it purely to send data out about fires and the like. Email isn't always a good vehicle for real time information distribution. It can suffer delays, and people don't always get email quickly. But twitter lets people get things via their phone, and (with luck, anyway) the number of delayed transmissions for the SMS messages twitter sends out will be lower than the email delays I've seen.

So, fine. I started using twitter for that.

Then it turns out I have some friends that use twitter. Of course. So - much like Facebook - if you want to see what is going on, you need to follow them on their platform of choice. Fine. And of course they follow some interesting people, and there are a bunch of emergency information sources on twitter as well, so I wound up following about 40 people.

Next I discovered that my web host makes use of twitter too, and they respond to questions there. Interesting. But if I send questions to them using my existing twitter account, those tweets will show up in the feeds of people following me for emergency information, which is not something I wanted to do.

And someone I wanted to contact in real life doesn't give out an email address, but she's on twitter. Not a huge deal, but again I don't want to cause cruft to show up in the twitter streams of those who follow me for emergency purposes only. Gah.

So guess what... the one who said he doesn't tweet now has two twitter accounts, and is struggling to find a good Linux client that supports that situation. So far, I have tried three:

  • Gwibber is OK, at best, but it doesn't make use of the colors you assign to each account. That means arriving tweets are intermixed and you need to know which ones come from where if you care. Also, when I send a tweet, I can find no way to choose which account the new tweet will come from. That's bad. But so far it's the best I've found.
  • Birdie claims to support multiple accounts, but I couldn't figure out how to make it actually do that. One account was OK, but if I tried to add another one it seemed to just add the first one a second time. Odd and pointless.
  • Hotot wouldn't work at all. I could not get it to let me login. No clue why.

I may look into Poly, but it's in pre-alpha status still, and I don't know how stable it is. But it may be better than Gwibber, so I will ponder.

This is craziness, I know. But here I am, trying to be part of the modern age. Again.

If you're silly enough to want to follow me on twitter, I am:

  • @jrpstonecarver - my emergency info account, mostly for Santa Cruz Mountain residents who want to know about fires and other events in our area
  • @jeffpstonecarver - my new account, for everything else

If I was following you before, I still am, but possibly on the new account if you're not one of those I track for emergency information.

What on earth am I doing?