I've been trying to familiarize myself with the popular social networks in order to promote Brian's Taskforce. It's been interesting to catch up on Twitter, Facebook, and to a lesser extent, Google+ well after the majority of the Internet had already fully embraced these networking platforms.

My initial reaction is that Twitter is the clear winner among the three. The ability to create ad-hoc cross-cutting "discussion topics" using hashtags is a concept totally missing from the other two.

That said, the 140 character limit is just stupid. Yes, it's part of the appeal: keeping things brief. But even a succinct thought often needs just a few more characters, especially when you eat into that space with URLs, hashtags, and an address to one or more users. A limit closer to 300 characters would probably make a lot more sense.

Twitter also wins hands-down in terms of user interface. In large part due to the simplicity of its functionality, the entire API ("read messages" and "write messages" basically) can be understood and adapted by any number of alternative applications.

I'm using MetroTwit on my Windows desktop and it's plainly awesome. Fast, elegant, with appealing clean animation effects.

By contrast, even with an i7 processor, Google+ and Facebook have to crank so much JavaScript that they feel "slow." Also, their user interfaces don't scale to fit the real-estate I have available on my 5120x1600 desktop. Where MetroTwit can use all the space I give it with grace, the large social networks constrain themselves to a narrow view that seems antiquated. At least Google+ gives a little more width than Facebook.


Given that I am interested in local concerns for Brian's Taskforce, I am monitoring the #ElSegundo hashtag. Most of the time, it's things I don't care about like job postings (I've removed these from my search by dropping #Job) or food trucks announcing their current location. Nevertheless, there are a few people making genuine comments about El Segundo.

But the #ElSegundo tweets that enrage me? Any that mention wallets.

Take your silly Tribe Called Quest song and get the heck out of my twitter searches.
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