Seesmic Desktop: What I Like, What I Don’t Like

seesmic_desktop_logoFirst, I’m not a fan of TweetDeck. It’s ugly; my eyes can’t stand white on black. And, it made me feel too overwhelmed. Twitter already has enough information coming through it, I don’t need an application making Twitter harder to follow. Twhirl solved this for me and has everything I need without filling up too much of the screen. Not everyone has a 30″ screen!

Now that Twhirl is ‘done’, Seesmic Desktop is here. When I first heard of Seesmic Desktop, I immediately thought of TweetDeck and was disappointed, but interested. Once I saw it in action, I was pleased. It’s easier on the eyes and doesn’t put too much information in my face. Well, right now it kind of does, but more features are going to be added which will allow me to stop it from happening. (I heard maybe a more Twhirl-like view?) For example, the excessive notifications for every little thing which fills up half or most of my (19″ widescreen @ 1440×900) screen has to stop. If it doesn’t soon, I will stop using it.

I think it has a lot of potential to be one of the most used apps for Twitter. One feature missing from Twitter is the ability to group people you are following. This feature, known as userlists, is built into Seesmic Desktop. It’s not perfect yet, but this is one of my favorite features because ever since Pownce was shut down, I had a lot of ex-Powncers that I follow and no way to keep track of them without their tweets getting lost among the others. Now with Seesmic Desktop, I can easily follow/check in on them.

The second feature which Twitter had but stopped was tracking. Saved searches in Seesmic Desktop adds this. This is also built into Twhirl, but that’s not important. I use saved searches to track local events, my name, blog, Doctor Who news, etc. Sometimes if there’s huge news about something, I may follow that as well, but only temporarily since some things can bring in a lot of tweets.

And, thank you, thank you for integrating Facebook! One app to interact on both Facebook and Twitter is awesome!

Things I don’t like:

  • It takes up a lot of space. The fonts in the tweets are too large and in such a compact space which creates a lot of vertical scrolling. Twhirl had this down perfectly allowing more tweets to be displayed in a small amount of space.
  • My Facebook account should not be my default account. I do not use Facebook like I use Twitter. Everytime I close Seesmic Desktop to the tray and then open it, Facebook is automatically selected. This has caused me to post things to Facebook that I did not want to post there! I had thought my Twitter account was selected, because that was selected before it went to the tray.
  • Don’t try to be the best app that has everything. My impression from what I’ve been reading on Twitter, that every little thing someone suggests is going to be added. Please don’t do this. I know Seesmic Desktop needs to have many features to compete with TweetDeck, but it doesn’t need to have every feature that everyone requests. Be the best app by having the best features.
  • Memory usage. I’ve heard some of this is due to being an AIR app, but Twhirl seemed to handle this better. So, I think some of this could be worked on. I’ve been able to leave Twhirl running for days without ever closing it and it would never feel sluggish. I can’t even do anything in Seesmic Desktop after it’s open for one day!

Features I would like to see:

  • Searches that aren’t saved. I have a habit of searching and forgetting about the searches. Searches that I only wanted to look up temporarily, but not to be saved and followed.
  • The word ’searches’ should be referred to as tracking. When I think of searching, I’m just searching for a keyword and find (or don’t find) what I’m looking for.
  • Do not expand the window to make room for a search. Instead, just display it over the main area. It adds the search by default to the list anyway. So when I search, add it to the list and then select it and display it without adding a new column. Maybe this could be a way to make it feel more like Twhirl? Obviously, this would have to be an option for the user so those who like it how it is won’t be disappointed, but also to please those who are happy with Twhirl.
  • Easier way to add users to userlists. I know this is being suggested by many, but I’m including it here anyway. Some people are suggesting to offer a checklist or drag-and-drop way of adding users. Do not offer both a checklist or drag-and-drop option! This just adds too much to the app. Decide for the users how the lists are created and stick with it. I think a checklist would be the best way to go, because dragging and dropping is harder on a laptop with a touchpad.
  • Per account searches. To me, this is very important. Twhirl has this because for each account you have a separate window. In each window, you have your searches. I would like to see this feature added to Seesmic Desktop because it is so useful. Currently it just selects my last added Twitter account whenever I reply to or follow someone from in a search. Then I have to manually switch to the account I wanted to use.
  • Custom notifications. Twhirl did it right. There needs to be an option to select how many notifications appear at one time, length of time they appear and which accounts they appear for, including each individual search. I cannot have Seesmic Desktop open while I am working because it usually fills up half my screen when there are many updates at once.
  • Facebook notifications. I do not mean notifying me of a new update. I am referring to those notifications when logged into Facebook, that appear on the bottom right notifying of new comments others have left, or new app updates, etc. Things that do not appear on the home page. Hopefully this is possible.
  • More Facebook features. Ability to see if users are online and possibly post to their wall or send a private message.
  • Sidebar scrolling. I don’t like scrolling the entire sidebar when my searches have gone past the length of the sidebar. There has to be a better way to do this. Maybe make the scrolling a little faster. Right now it takes so long to get back to the top so I can click on HOME! I guess another option could be moving HOME, REPLIES, PRIVATE and SENT to another location on the window.

I may update this post frequently as I think up new ideas or things I don’t like about Seesmic Desktop. Since it is still in preview mode, it will be changing often and some of the above may be added and if so, I’ll cross them out.

Posted in: Software