When the world was younger, and so was Twitter, I became fascinated with selecting the best Twitter client for my several computers.
I first encountered Twitteriffic, which was a lightweight, visually appealing piece of software. It gave you tweeting sounds when you get new messages. You could customize the color scheme. You can even set transparency. It was free, at least for a while (then you could opt to either pay or get ads every few minutes or so).
But it was Mac-only. And in my wide array of computers in my so-called development lab (a.k.a. home office), I only had one Mac. And since it was one of my older machines, it was hardly my main work computer. It wasn’t my most portable computer, either; that honor went to my cutesy little Asus EeePC, the first generation of which ran Linux.
And so on my Windows-powered computers, I had to scour the web for a good client. There was Twitterlicious, Twhirl, and a host of others. They were cute and customizable, too. But in my opinion, none was as solid and lightweight as Twitteriffic. And I had to either install a certain iteration of .NET or Adobe Air to run these pieces of software. I didn’t want overhead bloat! Oh, wait, wasn’t Windows itself just that? At any rate, I just wanted something to run as light as possible.
And this still didn’t address my need to be multi-platform. On my linux machines, I wanted something as easy to install as apt-get, which was, to say, very optimistic on my part. And so I tried Twitterfox, which was an add-on for Firefox, which–you guessed it!–ran on Windows, OS X and even Linux (but of course!).
Twitterfox wasn’t as elegant, though. In hindsight, I wasn’t even sure if it notified you of new tweets. Not that I needed notifying, as the folks I follow post updates ever so often, anyway.
And then it hit me. What if I stuck to just using the Web interface? Twitter clients have this knack for taking over your life. The moment Twitteriffic’s birdies tweet, you get an impulse to open the notification window, if doesn’t pop up automatically already, with your friends’ and their cats’ trivial concerns.
So I’m sticking to the Web client. And when I’m mobile, I don’t bother to use standalone apps, as I also prefer m.twitter.com. I like life simple.
Will I still change my mind? Maybe. Send over some links to cool Twitter clients and I might try them out (and even review them here). But I’d like something that helps me get the most out of microblogging, not something that would take hold of my life. I like life simple.