Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Twitter - how does anyone find anyone else?

So, I've been twittering away for a couple of days now and it seems like good fun - a bit of a time-sink in the way that this sort of thing tends to be - but on balance definitely something worth sticking with.*

However, I'm really having some pretty severe issues with some aspects of the site's design and wondered if anybody else had been irritated by this as well? There seems to be no feature to actively search for someone by username - the only way to add and start following someone appears to be to trawl through other people's lists until you stumble across someone you're looking for, or to go through your email contact books and spam all your friends and relatives. Neither is really satisfactory.

Say, for example, I want to find my LJ pal Jimmyjoebob, who I also know goes by two other handles on Yahoo (Joebobjimmy) and an old Fanfiction.net account (Bobjoejimmy). Twitter has no actual little box that I can type his handles into to see if he's there - I either have to forget about the whole thing, or check my friend EmoDracoluvr15, who I know is on Twitter, to see if she's following him.

Another case to prove the point - I know the Questionable Content characters have fictional Twitter streams that I think it might be a laugh to follow ... but even if EmoDracoluvr15 tells me Dora's fake handle, I can't type it in anywhere to bring up her stream, I still have to search through the Twitter streams she's following until I find Dora or whoever.

It seems like a massive game of chance whether or not you find anybody at all, and this strikes me as a severe design flaw that someone would have developed out of existence by now, so, guys, experienced Twitterers, is there a way round this, or do I have to suck it up?

* The feed's on the right, or imported daily if you read this at my LJ.

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