Maybe Just Another Twitter App, But Lazyscope Offers A Better Glimpse At Links

ScrollJust when you thought the Twitter desktop application marketplace couldn’t get any more cluttered, another “competitor” enters the ring to rival that of app powerhouses, Seesmic Desktop and Tweetdeck (among others). But while you might think it’s just another desktop application to download, it throws in a unique twist – it throws in some more context with the links that you get. And it’s also from a startup you might already be familiar with: LazyFeed.

The power behind RSS and Twitter

Just introduced a few days ago, LazyFeed’s new product Lazyscope focuses on doing everything that you would expect from a Twitter application. You can tweet to your friends, answer replies and send direct messages. But what makes it more important is that it’s probably the first application out there that really shows you what’s behind the links and saves you time from clicking on links where the tweet might be considered “link-bait” or just not what you thought. Think about it this way, imagine if someone posts a tweet with a shortened link. At first glance you’re not going to know what page that link points to. With Lazyscope, you’re now able to simply click on the link in the application and a panel will open up that will pull in the RSS feed of the site, specifically with that content allowing you to look at it all from the comfort of the application. You won’t have to open up a new tab or window. It’s all self-contained!

In Robert Scoble’s blog post, he starts out being skeptical about this new application from founder Ethan Gahng (@ethpresso) but soon finds himself being intrigued and able to “see the possibilities”. I’ve downloaded this application and really appreciate being able to have more of a preview of the links that I’m interested in. Moreover, the added ability of retweeting a link and editing the content of the tweet is a definite benefit – not all sites have a retweet feature. In some way, Lazyscope makes it seem like Google Reader has merged with Tweetdeck and created a new way of finding information or, dare I say, curate content.

Lazyscope in action

Lots of punch, but still in beta

One thing that we must all remember when using these types of new applications is that often times they’re still in beta – things are entirely ready to be rolled out. It’s almost as if it’s a trial period for us to test it out. And believe me, Lazyscope is still something that leaves much to the imagination. However, with more applications wanting to show us relevant and contextual content like what you might see in #newtwitter, the ability to (as Louis Gray calls it) “unpack” a URL can be quite advantageous.

Unfortunately in the stage that the application is in, I’m not as impressed as I was with LazyFeed. In fact, some things I find somewhat disheartening:

  • When I first activate Lazysource, it keeps prompting me with a message saying that there’s a problem accessing Twitter and then to retry. I’m not sure what it is, but as soon as I hit the “retry” link, it works fine. This probably should not need to be the action taken all the time.
  • The speed at which tweets appear rapidly on the screen is too fast for me. As I’m trying to scroll through past tweets, the refreshing of the column causes me to lose my place and frustrates me.
  • Lack of an ability to have multiple columns or even multiple accounts.
  • Inability to click on Twitter handles (@name) and view their profiles – in fact, there’s not even a way to view your own profile or to subscribe to someone’s Twitter feed.
  • No current desktop notifications about new tweets like you would have with Tweetdeck or Seesmic Desktop.

Now granted, Lazyscope has simply taken the granular controls to which we have been accustomed to in the past, but there are some simple features that we have all loved and adored about our desktop applications.

Simplicity with Twitter? Impossible!

It’s interesting how simple Lazysource is – it’s all about curating new content very much like how real-time feeds were tracked with LazyFeed or even Collecta.  Perhaps this is Lazysource’s grand idea? To make things simpler and focus on helping you find the information you want. I suppose prior to Twitter and possibly even in the Twitter era, many people relied on RSS feeds as a way get their daily fill of news. For me, I typically get all my news from Twitter these days – whether it’s political, local, international, technology-based, photography or even marketing-related…this is one of the primary ways for me to keep track of what’s going on in my life.

To that end, Lazysource gives you that simple interface that you can look through and gaze at the news that flies right by.It’s less obtrusive than what you would find with Seesmic Desktop or Tweetdeck currently and without having to worry about integrating with plugins like Facebook, LinkedIn, Klout, or even Salesforce, there’s something to be said for cutting through the noise.

Here’s a video produced by Robert Scoble on Lazysource (source: Scobleizer.com)

The future & it’s prohibitive nature right now

In its current form, Lazysource does not look to be something that an enterprise can use to interact and engage with their customers – it’s definitely not CoTweet or HootSuite and while it displays RSS feed links in the desktop application, it’s just one step removed from how we’ve probably been accustomed to with Tweetdeck or Seesmic Desktop. Who knows what will happen with Lazysource in the future. I think that there’s potential, but right now I think I might switch back to using Seesmic Desktop as my tried and true method of interacting with the Twitterverse.

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Photo Credit: ana_labate / sxc.hu

Ken Yeung Avatar

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One response to “Maybe Just Another Twitter App, But Lazyscope Offers A Better Glimpse At Links”

  1. Teammmbr Avatar
    Teammmbr

    Enjoyed your “subscribe to anything” feature. But won’t use Lazyscope as a Twitter reader. It still has many flaws, and doesn’t read all links. I could recommend trying http://www.litefeed.com.

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