Twidroid is a popular Twitter application for Android phones, and they’ve just released an update, including native Youtube posting, a sample pluging for your own url shortener, Chinese, Czech, Russian and Arabic languages, plus the Pro version now has offline sending, which is a useful addition.
Twitter and Facebook integration has come to two of the big three consoles of this generation with both the Xbox 360 and PS3 now allowing you to keep updated in between games.
Although your Playstation will automatically update Facebook when you earn a new trophy in a game, apparently that functionality is missing for Twitter (I own an Xbox 360 instead so can’t test).
You’ll need to register with PS3Heroes.com, add your Twitter username, and allow access via OAuth.
And that’s it done.
I’m surprised the official auto-updates favour Facebook rather than Twitter – in terms of auto-updating accounts, you’d assume the focus would be reversed – but this will solve the problem for the time being.
It’s an Adobe Air applications which runs on Windows (2000/XP/Vista), MacOsx (10.4.9 or more), and even Linux! And besides the fact it runs behind proxies, it feeds out to Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, Tumblr, Friendfeed, and Identi.ca.
So I got in touch with Cesare to get an idea of what was behind Posty, and what he plans for the future.
What is Posty in 140chars?
Posty in a small desktop application which allows browsing/updating your profile on twitter, jaiku, pownce, tumblr, friendfeed, identi.ca.
What makes it different from other cross-posting applications?
Posty has one of the smallest memory footprint. Although Adobe Air does not allow developers to fully manage memory usage, Posty is optimized to use as little memory as possible.
To my knowledge Posty is the only standalone desktop application which supports SIX services and allows a rich browsing experience. For example you can watch videos and pictures right in Posty! Check pownce, tumblr or friendfeeed for an example.
Finally, unlike web applications, Posty encrypts and stores sensible data like passwords on your hard drive, instead of third party servers.
How long did it take to create the initial version?
The first version, which included twitter and jaiku took two months to develop.
Let me say that Posty is a project that I develop during my spare time. So when I say “two months” I mean “the spare time that I had during two months”. I can’t quantify more than that.
Was Adobe Air easy to work with? Does it offer significant advantages?
Adobe Air was pretty easy to work with. Posty has grown as a response to two needs I had: to learn Adobe Air and to save some time in interacting with my online communities.
I think I am on the way I expected to be. One of the main advantages of Adobe Air is the ability of quickly changing the layout of the application. Without getting too technical the VBox, a container to display whatever thing you want vertically, is a great idea. So for initial prototypes it is just perfect.
As you project grows you need some discipline to avoid melting too much the logic and the graphics. For example, after the first prototype (which I confess I did just for my personal use), I redesigned the application along the lines of MVC pattern. So if, by chance, I hit my head and I forget anything about Posty, by looking at the MVC structure of my code I quickly “remember” where to put my hands.
How long has it been live? And is it gaining many users, judging by the good response it’s received?
I released the first version of Posty at the end of April. I remember I didn’t even had a website, so the release was made by attaching the air file to an email message.
Posty is gaining users every day and received a good response. I receive emails of encouragement and suggestion. People are also willing to test beta versions. This is fundamental to me, because I get almost immediate feedback on new features or solved bugs.
Are any of the microblogging services more difficult to integrate with? I noticed it took a couple of tries to verify my Jaiku account for example?
Maybe you did it while Jaiku was updating their servers. Yet Jaiku has not implemented an appropriate api to verify credentials, so I exploit a trick. BTW Jaiku to me has a lot of potential and I expect they extend api support to other functionalities. I didn’t find particular difficulties during the implementation. The testing is often the phase which takes more time. Unfortunately some network rely on servers which are hit every second by hundred thousand requests and your testing can get slow. I remember the “flying whale” days of twitter … testing new functionalities was a nightmare. Same for Pownce some time.
A special mention to Friendfeed, which was the most reliable api service I had to do with. And let me “celebrate” to the tumblr api as the simplest and cleanest and well-documented api I have worked with.
Finally, I think I’ll have some issue with Facebook, which I’ll integrate soon and which is known to be a less “friendly” api for desktop applications.
Are you going to continue simply to ask for donations to monetise Posty? Or would you be tempted to introduce advertising?
At the moment I’ll keep on asking for donations. BTW thanks to those who donated so far and thanks to those who will donate. Even a small donation is precious to me. Also encouragement messages, blog posts and suggestions are considered a donation. So if you like Posty, or have an idea on how to extend it, just drop me a line. I appreciated it a lot.
Has it raised your profile throughout the internet?
I can’t tell the difference before and after Posty. For sure my online activity has been influenced by the growth of Posty (read less free time for me and more emails to reply to). But the most evident improvement is that it takes much much less time to send my updates/news across different networks and to address the incoming messages/replies. Attempting a measurement I’d say I spend half of the time and save a lot of clicks.
Let me also mention a cognitive aspect. Posty concentrates in a “place” a set of activities (update twitter, check Pownce replies, etc). Wanna do one of those activities? open Posty. Busy doing other stuff? Just close Posty to avoid distractions. Within a browser this border fades and, at least to me, it is easy to interrupt an activity to update/check my twitter, just because I noticed that a tab on twitter was left open (accidentally).
With Posty I feel I am more focused on my current activity.
Have you got more plans for improving Posty?
Yes. I have many items on the todo list: a brighter look and feel, facebook support, improvements on the interaction with the graphical interface. And a special feature which I am planning since a while. But can’t tell more.
What’s your view on cross-posting? Obviously Posty makes it far easier, but do you think cross-posting is possible without it becoming almost like spam? Do you have any tips for users?
First, don’t just ask questions. Many tend to get without giving. I think giving is important. Contribute with ideas, suggestions, whatever you feel it improves things. Second, choose as carefully as possible your friends contacts. It’s not easy to foresee how active a person will be, but if you see that the last 100 updates are about knitting and you hate knitting you shouldn’t click add/follow. Indeed try to find and add people who share some interest with you.
Final tip. Given that the number of friends/contacts is limited try to remove those who are less active, to make room for people more corresponding to you. You should not fear to click remove.
If you had to pick a favourite microblogging/lifestreaming site at gunpoint, which would you pick?
As for the service per se I’d pick Friendfeed, because their servers are very reliable. You might say that the interface is “spartan”, but I like the service and the scenarios it opens.
If we talk about people and responsiveness I’d say twitter and Pownce. Especially on Pownce I get almost immediate replies. Maybe this is because I was a beta tester and I collected many active friends. Of course twitter is still the most used/discussed/crowded service you can think of. And the one I use to stay in touch with the posty community via: http://twitter.com/_posty.