On Google+ and Twitter…

So I still haven’t posted anything in Google+ (although my Twitter feed seems to be cleaning up nicely; less noise, more signal. Soon I’ll start pruning the folk I follow who seem to have moved to Google Plus (is it + or Plus?)), not participated in any hangouts (Skype does video confs and group messaging I think? I rarely use either; what group chats I participate in are often in docs anyway), and don’t feel the need to create circles (I have a couple of twitter search columns open in Tweetdeck, and they show me filtered views of the Twitterverse that I’m interested in, typically hashtag searches (which I tweak on a regular basis to pull in tweets from live event backchannels). I don’t tend to use Twitter lists very much (“circles” from a consumption point of view), though I do use folders to aggregate feeds by topic in Google Reader.

On the rare occasions I post to LinkedIn or Facebook, I use Tweetdeck.

Which is to say… I currently use Tweetdeck…

A couple of years ago(?!), I blogged an aside comment about how it would be handy if Tweetdeck supported a plugin architecture (Filter Tweets by Language). If Tweetdeck had opened up a plugin architecture, I suspect there would have been Google+ support available in that client by now. As it is, Twitter bought up Tweetdeck, and has also been making it clear that it’s not that supportive of thrid party developers implementing just-another-Twitter-client.

I don’t want to start spending my time in Google+, but the lack of support within Tweetdeck means that if I do feel the need to post into the that space, I need to use another client. A quick search turns up various Chrome extensions that bring Facebook and Twitter into the Google+ context, but nothing obvious to me that brings Plus into the Twitter space.

So I’m now faced with the question: continue to keep out of the Google Plus space, or move into that space with a Twitter extension (though I haven’t found one with Tweetdeck like multi-column support, which I’d want), consuming Twitter in that space and then maybe dipping into Google Plus every so often?

If Google+ starts to offer Twitter integration natively, or effective workarounds are found (e.g. creating a Twitter posting circle; for receiving the Twitter stream, can a circle be used to subscribe to e.g. an RSS feed or authenticate to a Twitter stream? Is this sort of support likely to be on the roadmap if so? How about a circle that provides a view of my GMail priority inbox too?) then I may be tempted to move to Google+, not so much for the Google offerings at first, simply as a new Twitter client, but at least one that makes it convenient to try out or dip into Google+ if I ever feel the need. And who knows, that might then lead to me spending more time in Google+ and less in Twitter…

Not being in Google+, I wonder how it is being used though…? Tweetdeck is ideal for 140 chars and link sharing with brief annotations, but it’s not a feed reader, nor a client for clipping services such as Posterous. I like the brevity of the Twitter space, but a feed of items longer than 140 chars is potentially too much. If Google+ usage were based largely around 140 char style updates, Tweetdeck column support for separate circles would be really interesting (along with a switch that made it easy to post to a particular circle). Has anyone produced a Tweetdeck like clone that offers this experience yet? Or is the content shared on Google+ typically too long form to make such a multi-column feed view over separate circles appropriate?

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

8 thoughts on “On Google+ and Twitter…”

  1. Tweetdeck integration is simply not going to happen now it is owned by Twitter.
    Google+ clients will come – once the APIs are released.

  2. Since Twitter has failed to find a business model that works with third party clients, and now seems to be pursuing a strategy of owning the clients too, one has to wonder whether Google would choose to bother opening APIs. They have a popular brand to secure interest in Plus, and the muscle to develop clients for many platforms internally.

  3. You might want to consider moving to Seesmic Desktop. Similar column layout to Tweetdeck and they already have a number of other integrations (inc Google Reader) and a developer SDK http://devwiki.seesmic.com/w/page/15668125/FrontPage for someone to dive into once Google release the API.

    It’ll be interesting to see how long Seesmic will be able to survive as a middleman

    [I had a go with Seesmic a while ago, but went back to tweetdeck because their status update box didn’t have a as you type spell checker – amazing how the small things can put you off a product]


  4. Thanks for comments – I guess I was assuming folk had already hacked an API together like they did with Google maps, way back when ;-)

    Re Twitter not being likely to add support for any more 3rd party services: agreed, but I think that might be a dangerous move?

    Looking through the feed of folk following me on Google+, I think I really do prefer the enforced short form of Twitter, and long form of blog posts through my reader. I have no energy for this web nonsense any more…

    1. I find the G+ feed very hard to read, it’s so verbose. I now use a couple of circles to pull out people I want to *read*, as well as having a couple which define my comfort zones for sharing. Even so, just with the people I want to follow, it takes a long time to scroll through just a few posts (+ comments etc). Facebook is more readable (or twitter, of course)

      1. Although not a Circles user, I find the idea that I would be sharing into a circle that I have defined quite odd, having got used to the public broadcast model of Twitter. Who am I to say who should read my rambling thoughts and idle status updates? If the thoughts are freely out there, they have at least a chance of making it to a mind that might appreciate such a thing… Rather than me inflicting my ideas on people I have circled specifically for the task…;-)

Comments are closed.