In the beginning of 2009 I started to use Eventbox. A nifty little tool, that promised to allow me access to my social life (lives).
I could use Twitter and Google Reader with it. Later Facebook and others were added.
Towards the end of 2009, Eventbox was bought(?) by RealMacSoftware and hence is named Socialite.
The guys at RealMacSoftware managed to improve the app greatly: it started eating up less and less memory and to use less and less CPU cycles. The best thing in my not so humble opinion was the integration of Twitter Lists.
As far as I know, Socialite, as of today, is the only Twitter client for Macs that implemented Twitter Lists in an intelligent and really usable way. I for one, cannot think of any better way to make use of this Twitter feature.
However, from that point on the whole project went south.
I only use Twitter and Google Reader with Socialite and set them up to look for new items every three (Twitter) and every ten (Google Reader) minutes. Whenever Socialite looks for either Twitter or Google Reader updates, the whole app freezes for some seconds or even minutes – probably depending on how many new items have to be fetched.
So if I’m writing a tweet and either the three or the ten minutes are up, Socialite starts fetching new items and I can’t finish the tweet. Keystrokes won’t get displayed and I have to wait until the whole refreshing/syncing thing is done.
If I’m reading a blog post through Socialite and this blog post has an embedded video and if I chose to watch this video… well, should one of the refresh actions start while I’m watching that video, Socialite will make a horrible slide show from that video…
I once made the mistake of also adding Facebook with an auto-refresh time of five minutes, which got Socialite in freezing loop: after three minutes Twitter was refreshed, this took more than two minutes, so that after five minutes in total, Facebook would’ve been updated but wasn’t, because the Twitter refresh still „blocked“ the whole app. The Facebook refresh was stalled and when it finally went off, it was just late enough to block the Google Reader refresh. I don’t recall it exactly anymore – but if you do the maths: there also must have been a Twitter refresh between the Facebook and the Google Reader refresh.
All in all, this „refresh loop of death“ rendered the whole app useless for approx. 45 minutes – eventually it crashed.
As you might have expected, I pretty soon got really annoyed by all this. I gave them a couple of chances during their beta and final releases but enough is enough.
The plain usage of Twitter and Google Reader is already eating up way too much of my time – I simply cannot afford to stare at a spinning wheel, waiting for the app to allow me to read the next item
I decided to ditch Socialite.
The easiest thing was to go back to the original, web-only Google Reader interface; but soon I missed being able to effortlessly tweet a blog post that I want to share with my Twitter followers.
After testing several RSS reader apps with Google Reader integration, I eventually opted for NetNewsWire.
By default, NetNewsWire doesn’t have a „Tweet this“ button, but lucky for me I found a really nice solution over at making things work.
They have a neat little script that enables NetNewsWire to tweet – and even provide a way to use this new function with a keyboard shortcut.
As for Twitter, I’m still stuck with Socialite.
There just doesn’t seem to be any other Twitter client that handles Twitter lists in a way comfortable enough for me.
I really hope that they’ll get their act together and make Socialite usable again.
I even considered downgrading to a nicely working older release version – but then I’d lose the lists or the new retweet feature…