Friday, 24 April 2009

Tweetdeck vs. Seesmic Desktop

Over the last couple of weeks since the release of the Seesmic Desktop, I've been pondering whether I would abandon the Tweetdeck and head back to the creators of Twhirl (my first twitter client). My decision is finally made although I'm hesitant to actually make any recommendations about the two clients for anyone who might come across this post. The reason is primarily because I don't think one is any better than the other. I feel that both clients tailor to a certain personality types and I happen to fall into the one that is more suited towards Tweetdeck. I will attempt to explain why.

Seesmic Desktop is a beautiful app. Nice colours, intuitive placement of clicks and buttons and the kicker is that it handles multiple twitter accounts. In addition to that it allows you to easily manipulate userlists, replies and DM's. With all this to offer you'd think that the Seesmic Racoon would be wiping the floor with Tweetdeck's Window's 2000 looking interface.

Thing is, although I've had Seesmic Desktop installed on my thinkpad for a couple of weeks now, when I want to take a stroll down Twitter street, I'll still invoke Tweetdeck.

I couldn't work it out. Tweetdeck is uglier, slower and harder to use. I thought I was becoming one those people who still still carry a filofax and coins for the phone booth, but when I took a look at the tweeps I follow, I found that a lot of them (folk who geek more than me and would definitely have access to the Seesmic Beta before me) are still twittering from Tweetdeck. This gave me peace of mind that I was not adoptively inept but also made me curious why I was settling for something that was less empirically appealing.

So why did I not jump ship to a much sexier vessel? I can only speak for myself but I think in comparison Tweetdeck has become (for me) the twitter client reflection of my personality. I don't know about you but my desk is messy. I am the kind of person who has no idea what to put into my desk drawers either. If you do see my desk and open one of the drawers you'll find a collection of old pens, some working, some not, lots of dust and mostly stuff I don't use. On my desk are the things I use every day, my working pens, documents and manuals I need daily access to as well as anything that I might be currently working on. This is a lot like the way I've configured Tweetdeck. I have a column for my China tweeps, a column for people I've actually met and a couple of searches such as #gfwlist or #shanghai. I know I can also achieve this with more efficiency and ease on Seesmic Desktop but it's not splattered on my screen the same way Tweetdeck does it. I know the horizontal scroll is annoying and the column view requires practice to include the vertical scroll bar but for me it's akin to looking for that document by scanning my desk rather than going to a well organised system of filing.

I have a feeling that I am not alone in living in a world of structure in the guise of chaos, as opposed to living in a chaoticly organised world. To me Tweetdeck represents my frame of mind. Everything on my desk and nothing in the drawers whereas Seesmic Desktop is the opposite. The Seesmic Desktop gives me what I need immediately and no more. If I want more I need to open a drawer. This analogy is further illustrated by the inclusion of facebook statuses, 12seconds videos and a host of other things that could happily sit in a drawer rather than on the desktop.

Having said all that I want to make it clear I am endorsing neither client and that I am simply telling you the insanity behind my choice. If you have more than one twitter account, Seesmic is the obvious choice. If you are an inherently tidy person (neat freak) then Seesmic is probably more appealing to you. If you are the kind of person who cleans, dries and puts away dishes in the kitchen while you're cooking then Seesmic is the client for you, but if you are like me and like large amounts information (relevant or otherwise) at the tip of your fingers instantly then more than likely you're a Tweekdeck person.

UPDATE: I have an old box at home that runs on Ubuntu and because there is no "alternative link" on the Tweetdeck site, I'm running Seesmic Desktop on it. I have to admit that I miss my Facebook Updates. I also installed Orsiso on the Ubuntu box and realised that my Social Circle syncs between my desktop and my notebook. Very cool!

P.S. @tweetdeck: If there is a non-flash download link, do let me know on @dedlam

UPDATE 2: Finally got Tweetdeck installed on my Ubuntu box. I must say that it looks and performs exactly the same as on my XP notebook. Seesmic has some rendering problems and is now idle on the desktop as a backup to Tweetdeck.

No comments: