I was annoyed at the Twitter outage last night (apparently caused by IM’ing) as I wanted to gripe about Play Greenhouse (they only allow passwords between 4 and 10 characters long, preventing me from using a passphrase style password). Of course that outage was followed by a database crash today. While I appreciate the good communication the Twitter folks have via their blog the service is extremely prone to outages.

I have only been using Twitter for a month (if that) and already it is already a really useful service for me. It’s handy for keeping up with what’s happening in a “distributed” (or perhaps just disorganised) company. But it also useful for publishing stuff too.

There are a lot of times where you want to make an observation or just note something interesting rather than getting into a detailed description of something. To date that kind of thing has gone into a note-taking program like Google Notebook, Sites or BasKet. Now with Twitter if something doesn’t seem personal or esoteric I might as well throw it out there. It also works the other way round, if something doesn’t fit into the Twitter limit then it probably is worth a paragraph in its own right in a “proper” blog post.

While Twitter was down I went to have a look at the alternatives: Jaiku has been bought by Google and is in one of those awful please wait while we spend months silently integrating modes. Pownce seems like a whole different service, the ability to transfer file links etc. strikes me as being more akin to Google Chat and certainly more than I need for microblogging.

If Jaiku had been available from my Google account at that moment I would have switched without question. Until then I guess I have to wait for Twitter to sort itself out.


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