Many people know that I’m a big fan of Twitter, more so than LinkedIn and certainly more so than Facebook. One thing I’ve always liked about Twitter is its simplicity – you really aren’t loaded down with tonnes of functionality; which is lucky as it takes long enough to get your head around Twitter as it is! If they made it more complex then newbies would just give up.
A lovely thing I like about Twitter is the concept of the username: mine is @Joel_Hughes; and we’re pretty much conditioned now to recognise @blah_blah as a Twitter username (in the same way we recognise what an email looks like or what a website address looks like).
So when you see a printed flyer with “follow us on Twitter – @blah_blah” it just sort of works; you have the key information to make the connection. But that same is not true for Facebook & LinkedIn; there is no easy Linkedin/Facebook equivalent (unless you print the whole URL/page address….clunky no?). You can follow on Twitter but you have to be found on Facebook/Linkedin. And finding means searching. And searching means hassle.
I think Google+ has the same issue; how to I easily express who/where I am on that channel? Well, it appears that I have to share this rather ugly looking URL:
Again, there is no obvious, easily transferable concept of username. Well, not one I can rapidly share ala a Twitter username.
And searching on Google+ is a pain because (due to having multiple Google account), I’ve ended up having a few Google+ accounts (I only use one though). So, not only are there multiple Joel Hughes’ on Google+, but there are multiple me’s as well!
Not sure if there is one – perhaps Linked et al need their own convention of a human & machine readable username? E.g.
- iJoel_Hughes (linkedin?)
- gJoel_Hughes (Google+?)
- +Joel_Hughes (*)
(* Google & Facebook actually use the ‘+’ symbol to kick start their user autocomplete service when you are writing posts/updates).
A further whacky idea I had was a sort of lookup service where, if I know your Twitter name, I can then find where you are on the other key networks. Obviously I’m not the first to come up with this idea; here’s a TechCrunch article about the Qwerly service which appears to do just this (now owned by fliptop).