Twitblogs Alpha Aims at Middle – Between Blogs and TwitterBy Phil Butler
Twitblogs is an interesting startup currently in alpha that is designed for “long winded” Twitter life streamers like myself. It allows any Twitter user to tweet as usual, or to use Twitter for microblogging, complete with images, sounds, videos, and rich text. This will eventually allow for a deeper and more diverse experience for those who opt to dig into it. Essentially the service provides a “back story” for any Twitter tweet.
How It Works
The Twitblogs interface is clean and simple. Users are essentially looking at a three tab, top navigation interface with a sidebar reflection of their Twitter account. The top tabs reflect the functions it offers: Blog, Twitter, and Search respectively. In the screen shot below, these basic functions are seen with the other elements.
The blog interface is the heart of this little tweet enhancer. A simple text editor is provided, along with photo and image capability. To post a tweet with extras simply requires entering the standard 140 character tweet, inputting any URLs (which are then shortened), and then adding more text and other media as desired. The end result is an update on Twitter, with a link back to the full entry. The input interface and the resulting post are illustrated below.
Tweets here work just as simply as they do on the Twitter site itself; perhaps even smoother. Without going into too much detail, it is obvious how useful and fun this tool will be for many. For those who feel frustrated with the limitations of just 140 characters, this is a happy compromise between a full blog post and a tiny tweet.
Twitblogs offers a nice search function that can be quite effective for finding people or relevant tweets on Twitter. The ability to save those searches is a helpful addition. Below is a search result along with the save function that helped me find things related to a friend.
According to the Twitblogs development team, within the next week or so, they intend to release several key features, among those are: Growl notification support, threaded conversation in the Twitter tab, auto refresh in search, twitblo.gs version of shortened URLs, and other improvements.
Though only in very early development, Twitblogs has obvious potential. According to Roger, they already have relationships with Amazon and Sun Microsystems. From a blogger perspective it currently serves little purpose, but I see the finished tool as a communications platform in portable form. It makes sense as a widget, but one where the dialogue started on Twitter, can be used to engage a deeper dialogue and experience it quickly, easily and from anywhere. This is where I think the tool is headed, and it is actually just what Twitter needed in the first place.