Brizzly: First Impressions

For a very long time, I was using iTweet.net from The Illusion Factory and they are on Twitter @itweet. By far, the best web-based application for Twitter, IMO.

Then somehow there was a barrage of Twitter clients, and after experimenting with almost all, I came to settle down on Tweetie from atebits (Mac Only).

I was using TweetDeck for a while, but somehow the dark interface didn’t quite cut it for me (and given my lack of aesthetic sense of colour, I could never get the right combination). Importantly however, TweetDeck’s important feature is the columns. And it does not respect the horizontal scroll of a Mighty Mouse, on a Mac (Is that an Adobe Air issue? Seesmic has the same problem). It has been a while now, I stay away from Adobe Air Apps for the Mac.

But, back to Brizzly – the latest kid on the block – and is getting some rave reviews from various websites as well as it’s followers. Techgeist calls it the “The Best Damn Twitter Client Out There”, in their opinion. I am the kind who tends not to ignore such a review, so off I go and request for an invite code, and I get it in less than 24hrs!

Happily happily, I log in to check out the best client ever. It’s pretty neat – first impression is: clean and simple. Nice. But before we get to all the nice things, here are a few things that didn’t quite work for me. Remember, features in a tool are all about how use the tool and to what purpose.

  • The colour scheme didn’t feel quite that fresh. The green and beige pastel, I think are a bit too common. (I am thinking HootSuite) I didn’t find a way to change the colour scheme.
  • The group feature is useful, but being a web-app, it’s not very convenient (Think click and time to refresh)
  • The direct messaging interface is “cool” – shows up like a chat window on the right sidebar, but once you close it, it’s lost. I did not find a way to bring back the box, with the thread. I am a sucker for threaded conversations.
  • Even @ conversations are not easily captured. I do see the standard “in reply to” link below a mention, but when I click that — it takes me to the Twitter interface. Brizzly is embedding all linked media (images, video) in-line. Why not conversations? See the image below, in iTweet.net.
  • itweet-conversation-view.png
    Conversation view in iTweet.net
  • In-line media view is probably limited to a few specific services. Media from mypict.me didn’t show in-line.
  • Lastly, URL shortening. I am probably the only one or one of the very few, who prefers to choose a URL shortening service. Brizzly publishes the full URL if you are within 140 chars, else relies on Twitter to shorten it via bit.ly.

Having said all that, Brizzly is worth a try, if you are looking to de-clutter after all the complicated and heavily featured clients you have been using. Louis Gray, for example, thinks, “Brizzly’s Sharp Twitter Web Interface Hides Loads of Unique Features

One of the interesting features in Brizzly, if you are the kind that follows trending topics (I don’t quite care), is the trending topics sidebar — with explanations. Then, the reply and retweet features are cool too — they open up a panel beside the tweet that you plan to reply to or RT. And, yes, I personally prefer the Standard view to the Wide view (Settings).

Brizzly supports upto five accounts, so those of you who tweet from Multiple accounts, this may we worthwhile client to check out.

In conclusion, Brizzly is a good web client, but I’d wait for a while (it’s still in invitation beta) before I say that it’s the best damn Twitter client out there.

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Brizzly: First Impressions