Seesmic for Blackberry – First Impressions

I was extremely excited when I got the announcement that Seesmic released their first Twitter client for the Blackberry. Seesmic has been one of my favorite clients to use on the desktop (especially since their update to include Twitter lists), a top contender against Tweetdeck, which is my default only because I’ve put so much effort into groups. I’ve been using the Seesmic client for about a day and, as a chronic Twitter user, I’ve used it quite a bit.  Overall, it’s really intuitive and easy to get to everything you want to easily.  I’m impressed.

I’ve been a beta tester for SocialScope for a while and it is, hands down, the best Twitter client available for the Blackberry, in my opinion.  UberTwitter is a close second.  I primarily tweet from my Blackberry and I’m a heavy mobile user, so I’m always in search of the perfect application.

The Good

Lists, lists, lists!

This is the feature I’m most excited about. Twitter lists were only introduced a short time ago, and not everyone is making use of them yet, but I find them VERY useful. Having access to my lists on my Blackberry is invaluable. I can read tweets based on my custom list and NOT have to visit the website — which is useless from a mobile device, really.

Seesmic with lists
Seesmic with lists

Saved searches

Another feature that seems to be lacking from mobile clients is the saved search list.  I don’t use it often, but it’s pretty handy when I do.  SocialScope allows you to search Twitter, but you have to enter the search every time.  Seesmic pulls your saved searches from your Twitter account.

Seesmic Saved Search
Seesmic Saved Search

New replies and DM notification and count

Also in the above screenshot you can see that new replies and DMs are counted.  I’ve missed @ replies countless times on SocialScope because they were below my field of view, or I was scrolling too fast.  Seesmic also notifies you of new replies and new DMs via the trusty red star, blinking LED, and the weird little Seesmic guy on the home screen.

Seesmic Notifications
Seesmic Notifications

Danger, 140 character limit!

Super useful. When you’re typing a tweet you get the remaining character count on the screen, as in other clients, but once you get closer to the 140 limit the tweet field visually warns you.  At 19 characters left, you get a light shade of pink, and then it gradually increases to a deep shade of red the closer you get to zero.

Seesmic - Approaching 140 Character Limit
Seesmic - Approaching 140 Character Limit
Seesmic - Reached Character Limit
Seesmic - Reached Character Limit

That’s not all!

These are just the highlights I find useful. There are a few other features, common to other clients but great to have, like photo sharing, URL shortening, etc.

The Bad

Small annoyances I can live with

There are a few improvements that could be made.  The most annoying being that it doesn’t use the Blackberry typing shortcuts like automatically capitalizing “i”, adding a period after a double space, or your custom shortcuts.  It makes typing a tad slower.

You also can’t send pictures from within the Blackberry pictures menu.  SocialScope lets you do this, but Seesmic does have it from the main screen.  I usually email it to TwitPic anyway.

The Seesmic guy shows up in the home screen even with zero new DMs and replies.

The text is so tiny, although I’m not sure if it’s just me because I always dial down the font size on my Blackberry theme.  I raised the font size up to seven (from five) and it didn’t seem to help.

Also, not sure if it’s just my Blackberry or not, but sometimes there’s a bit of a delay in getting back to the previous screen after posting.

I’ve reported this to Seesmic as it is likely a bug, but sometimes you can’t @ someone from the Replies screen.

Try it out

If you want to download it, you can get it by going to http://m.seesmic.com on your Blackberry. It automatically detects your Blackberry browser and gives you the direct download OTA link.

Note: For those who want to know, I’m using the Blackberry 9700 and I got my theme from here. It’s for the 8900 but it works perfectly. Screenshots were taken using CaptureIt.

Why you SHOULD change your social media avatar

I’m a social media junkie.  I’ve been on Twitter since February 2007 and I’ve joined numerous social media sites over the years.  I obviously don’t use them all, and truth be told I use Twitter the most, but I do at least try one out it sounds interesting to me.

I’ve noticed that people in general seem to be adverse to changing their avatar, or they don’t like it when someone does.  Understandable since really that’s your only unique link to that person.  However, I think it CAN be a good thing if it’s done right.  Changing your avatar can mean more familiarity rather than confusion.

The key is to only alter your avatar slightly.

If you have a mugshot of you face, and most people do, change it often and keep the camera distance relatively the same. Think of it as a really, really slow framerate on a webcam video.

If you don’t have a mugshot, the concept is still the same.  Keep the theme (sport? your dog? a nature scene?) similar. Folks will have an easier time recognizing it as you.