The customer conundrum

I’m a customer of a few on-online services. I have really liked using Tweetdeck for the past few months (hang on… years… eek). The problem is that I’m busy. Nuts busy. I’ve a business, a family, and a strange compulsion to sleep maybe a few minutes or three every day or so.

I’m a voracious reader and idea gatherer. This is the problem I’m facing now. Tweetdeck/twitter has put a massive pool of people at my disposal who are sticking post-it notes under my nose every few seconds saying “Hey, you might like this. Click through and read it”. And I do. And I get lost in clicks-ville as I wander through related content.


So I use Instapaper. A lot. It synchs to my kindle (I’m such a hipster). My good friend @tupp_ed put me onto it. I also use Evernote and Microsoft OneNote (depending on what I’m reading – different files for different contexts etc.). So, when I see something on a website I like I click the “Read Later” or “Send to …” widget and ping… I don’t need to read any more than the first few lines of the article. It even works on my iphone. And on the twitter client on my iphone at that. Often I don’t even open the link when it comes into me on my iOS client. I just “Read Later” and huzzah I am done until I download a tonne of stuff to read on Saturday morning over a gallon of coffee and a sausage or six.

But not on Tweetdeck on my computer. On Tweetdeck I have to open the link in a browser. This is the problem. I pull the post-it note my friend has sent me and then I pull up the reference. And I read it. And invariably I wind up reading all of it. And any related content. And then it is suddenly Thursday and the deadline that was small and manageable has become a big hairy gurner that I need to  disengage from my family to tackle.

This is a weakness in Tweetdeck. One that I am finding it harder to work with. Other twitter clients integrate Instapaper (or Evernote or similar services). Tweetdeck is an isolated island that needs me to walk across a bridge into time-suck land to even begin to integrate it into the way that I want to work with my knowledge suck tendencies.

So. I’ll keep using Tweetdeck for a few months but will be trying out other services in the meantime. Once I find a service that can be a Platform-For-Me I’ll blog about why. But right now my general wish list is:

  • Needs to let me manage business, personal, and volunteer tweeting in one place
  • Needs to let me sling links to Instapaper, Evernote etc. easily (no double lifting to get the content to my kindle for reading days)
  • If it can hook into the other tools I’m using to help run my business and my personal life all the better.
  • In using it I need to be able to ensure that my company isn’t going to fall foul of any personal data winding up in places it shouldn’t, so Safe Harbor/Safe Country requirements under EU Data Protection laws are a consideration.
  • It must not have a learning curve that requires mountaineering gear or a rocket pack to climb

Not too much to ask I hope.