I’ve fought it, but I knew it would happen: I now have Twitter content I somewhat care about that has a “read/unread” state; the obligation I’ve been dreading.
At the moment, this is primarily @replies and direct messages1, but lists are going to join the party soon once support is cooked into the popular Twitter clients.
The problem now is that I have my read/unread status decentralized since I use Twitter on about a half-dozen devices (and each device/client maintains their own read/unread state). That means I have to mark something as read a half-dozen times for the “new” indicators to be meaningful. It’s an annoyance.
My current solution to this is to fall back to a platform where I do have a consistent read/unread state: feeds. With Google Reader (web) and NetNewsWire (Mac and iPhone), I’ve got a platform that syncs read/unread state for items. I can use my feed reader to receive @replies and DMs while tracking their read/unread state (hopefully Lists too in the future). I just need to train myself to ignore the little blue bubbles in Tweetie (Mac), or switch to a different client.
Perhaps in the future Twitter’s API will evolve to maintain a read/unread state and Twitter clients implement it (think IMAP for email), or perhaps other solutions will come along to solve the problem. I’m going to see how using my feed reader works for a while – hopefully it reduces the obligation to addressing items only once.
- Look folks, I don’t want to receive these, ok? Want to contact me, use old school stuff like email, SMS or the phone or… Hey! Hey you! Yeah you – get off of my lawn! [back]
I’ve integrated read/unread into my client (Tweenky) a few times using various methods, and always remove it because, in my opinion, read/unread with the status updates medium is a bad idea. There’s just too much data there. The day I realized “Hey, I -don’t- have to read everything on Twitter”, I felt very liberated.
I’d be shocked if Twitter ever implemented read/unread at the API level. Just think about the storage aspects of 1,000,000 people viewing 1,000,000 tweets and Twitter having to keep track of who has looked at what. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what flows through that network on a daily bases.
I just want it for @replies and DMs – you know, the stuff Twitter clients are already tracking read/unread status for individually.
That’s the one thing TweetDeck tries to do that seems solid – you sign up for an account there, and then the clients sync up read/unread state.
That being said, Tweetie is just too nice to not use, so I wind up doing a manual sync, in that I try to stick to just one client at a time, and when I make a move that changes what client I’ll be using (sitting down at a computer for long periods, leaving said computer for long periods), I fire up the other client and do a fast mark all as read.
I’m hoping that when the Tweetie 2 iPhone changes propagate out into the desktop client, that something like TD’s syncing happens, though I doubt it actually will.
I don’t think client to client sync is a solution – ultimately there needs to be a central data source/API. Perhaps an opportunity for someone to build one and try to get the clients to integrate with it (think: equivalent of what Summize did for search).
I can’t remember if I read it on Loren’s blog, TechCrunch or elsewhere, but he’s suggesting that when the next version of Tweetie for Mac comes out he’ll be able to sync your current position (like when you close the app on the iPhone, it remembers how far you’ve scrolled). That’ll be a big win for me..
Tweetie has an option to turn off the blue light. Just go to preferences/account/notification options.
Sorry I wasn’t more clear. Tweetie (Mac) lets you turn off the notification in the dock and menu bar, but the little blue dots persist in the application window.
Been taking a look at CoTweet today. They have an option to archive tweets. As a gMail user, this resonated with me. Interesting interface. Probably looks awesome as an SSB. JB