Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Why can't Twitter get its act together?

I've blogged here about being a Twitter addict and it's true, I am. I love Twitter for the spontaneity, the friendships, the fun, and the coerced brevity. But honestly, why can't they make it work better? I've been on Twitter since early this year. I think I signed up during SXSW, when a lot of others did. So that's about 7 months. And in that time there have been almost no improvements in performance or reliability. I still get the "bluebird" page many times a day, indicating their servers couldn't respond.

There are still stupid little bugs that would take almost no time to fix; for instance, the long-tweet-with-no-spaces-bug. When someone posts a Tweet that is long and contains no spaces (or possibly other delimiters) it causes the page to extend tweet text under the sidebar on the right.

And how about the long-festering no-update-on-follow bug? That happens when you follow someone, but the page never updates. You get the perpetual busy-cycling icon on the top right of the page. Refreshing the page fixes it. That seems to me to be a simple Ajax bug.

C'mon guys, that's like a couple lines of code to fix. Why are you monkeying around with format, font and style sheet changes when there are real problems to fix?

Why can't you get the performance and reliability stabilized? This is not rocket science, guys. Sites like google mail, amazon, and facebook are much more complex in data structure and demanding in functionality, yet they perform with virtually no downtime or lost inputs.

I've analyzed and modeled your information structure. It's not that complicated. You seem to have engineering cycles to redesign your UI and add new functionality. Why in the world can't you just do some simple performance optimization instead of futzing around with surface appearance?

You've got a great concept here, Twitter, just please make it work.


Anonymous Bryan Person, Bryper.com said...

Joe, I have a similar frustration. At Social Media Breakfast 2 last week, someone said it was like Twitter was teasing us.

I wonder if Google's purchase of Jaiku will cause more people to give that service a serious look.

I'm on Twitter because the community I roll in is largely there. But eventually, my patience might just run out.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Joe C said...

On Twitter yesterday, I only half-jokingly asked for volunteers to contribute to a "TwitterThatWorks" service. Same functionality, except with performance and reliability.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

As a fairly new Twittey, I can say you definitely are an addict!! I'm still building my addiction and learning the ropes and etiquette!

Thursday, October 11, 2007 12:27:00 PM  

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