Twitblogs Lets You Publish Longer Tweets, Looks Dubious

Filed as Features on December 15, 2008 11:19 am

TwitblogsI’ve seen some of these services before, but it wasn’t until I read Michael Arringtons harsh treatment of Sam Sethi’s new venture, called Twitblogs. You might remember the Arrington-Sethi debacle back in 2007, the latter having been the editor of TechCrunch UK, and then crashed Blognation without paying its writers and employees. There’s a lot of bad blood there, and I’m not surprised to see the way Arrington handled Sethi’s latest offering.

That being said, I visited the site, and also checked in on its competitors. Or rather, the ones that Sethi ripped off, if TwitWall founder Michael E. Carluen (if it really is he) is to be believed. TwitWall is one of the competitors to Twitblogs, another one mentioned is Twitlonger, and I think I’ve seen even more of these.

Basically, what these services do is letting you login with your Twitter username and password, and then they let you write longer tweets. TwitWall looks pretty much like Twitter, and this is how Michael E. Carluen’s wall looks like. A lot more than just 140 characters per post there, eh?

Actually, it’s more like Tumblr, but not as pretty.

So what about it? Well, I would think twice and then rethink it again before I submitted my Twitter login credentials to any site, but I definitely wouldn’t do it to something like Twitblogs. All the weird stuff from Blognation aside, the site doesn’t even have a working about page! Now, it may be legit and all, but that sure doesn’t look good, now does it?

One should always be careful with supplying usernames and passwords to various web apps and services, but doing it to a site that won’t even let you know all about it is just plain stupid.

So even if you’re dying to use Twitblogs today, please refrain from doing so for your own sake. I don’t care much about what’s been said about this Sam Sethi fellow, I don’t know him and although I have no reason to doubt the claims made by a lot of people from Blognation, I won’t pass judgement here. I will, however, tell you that there are a lot more open alternatives out there, if you want to post tweets longer than 140 characters.

The question is why you’d want to do so, but I’ll leave that for another day.

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  1. By Roger Kondrat posted on December 15, 2008 at 12:46 pm
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    Let me keep this to list form as I want to be brief, but first let me preface all of this with we were not launched yet when the press hit and are only now launching what was intended to be an invite only early-alpha release.

    The list.
    1. Sethi is not the only person affiliated with Twitblogs, myself (Roger Kondrat) and Santosh Panda are co-founders.
    2. The team is nearly 10 people strong. The team is not Sethi, he is just one person and not a majority stakeholder.
    3. There are many many 3rd party twitter sites that don’t have a privacy or even a TOS on their site. Does that make it right no, but does that mean we are somehow worse? Definitely not.
    4. We have put up a temporary Privacy policy as this seems to have become an issue because of TC and also our massive traffic influx from great friends/fans such as Mashable & Profy to name ONLY two.
    5. We never felt the privacy policy was an issue until later on as we intended our App to remain in private alpha for at least December. Our bad on not seeing the hockey stick effect on day 1 of our unofficial release (we were just testing it internally for crying out loud).
    6. Shame on you for not contacting me or anyone at Twitblogs about any of this, its fine if you don’t like the product/service, but to suggest we are somehow untrustworthy without taking a moment to speak with us first is irresponsible.

    I thought the Blog Herald was supposed to be a professional site with some integrity, perhaps that was my poor assumption.

    All that aside, I would like to thank you for taking a look at our product/service and trying it. You did do that right? Hopefully now that we have a draft Privacy Policy in place you will reconsider and even talk with us about where we are going, etc.

    Take care and have a Merry Christmas.

    Roger

    Reply

  2. By Adam Singer posted on December 15, 2008 at 1:07 pm
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    I never understood the appeal of this idea…why not just blog if you have more to say on your own site?

    Reply

  3. By Thord Daniel Hedengren posted on December 15, 2008 at 2:08 pm
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    Roger, I think you’re missing the point here. I’m not judging Twitblogs based on the fact that Sam Sethi is involved, although the Blognation debacle makes me cautious. That’s nothing weird or anything. If you think that I’m bashing you out of that, well, maybe I’m not being clear enough, or maybe you should read the post again.

    I don’t care how good your service is. I wouldn’t dream of giving you my credentials, since you don’t tell me anything about who you are. It’s just not reliable, and I’m glad that you realise your error on behalf of this.

    How many people that are working on Twitblogs, how many links you’ve gotten, that just doesn’t matter. And regarding contacting you, if you look closely, you’ll probably find an email from yours truly in your support inbox, sent before I ran this story, so that you’d have the opportunity to speak up as well, in a follow up. Because nothing you could’ve said or done can change the fact that I think it is a bad idea to give your Twitter account info to a site that won’t publish adequate information about themeselves.

    The story stands, but as you can see, I’m happy to talk to you.

    Reply

  4. By Tosh Gary posted on December 16, 2008 at 3:47 am
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    Do you try Twhirl, TweetDeck and give your username and password?
    Do you use “Friends Importer” tool in Twitter itself in which you give your username and password for Yahoo, Gmail, etc ??

    You are biased…. isn’t ?

    Reply

  5. By Rahsheen posted on December 16, 2008 at 5:10 am
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    The author of this post did not bother to actually try the services mentioned. That’s bad business and I’m kinda disappointed to see this on a respected site such as this. If you didn’t want to give up your credentials to try it out and write a real review, I’m not sure why you bothered mentioning it at all.

    Anyone logging into to Twitwall and Twiblogs would see an immediate and significant difference in how they operate. Also, having spoke to leaders with both projects, their goals are nowhere near the same.

    Reply

  6. By Thord Daniel Hedengren posted on December 16, 2008 at 6:28 am
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    Tosh,
    It is a matter of trust. Some sites I trust, hence I feel safe supplying information. Others I don’t, and when it isn’t just a matter of creating an account – which is the case here – but actually giving an unknown party my login credentials that just won’t happen. It’s the online profile equivalent of sending your full credit card details to an unknown email. Ie plain stupid.

    Gmail and Yahoo etc. have their own user accounts. That’s not the same thing at all, as you’ll see if you actually look into this.

    Rahsheen,
    This isn’t a review, I suggest you read the post again. Twitblogs got a lot of coverage and people were submitting details to an unknown party. That’s it. As for testing it out before writing anything, well, to use the credit card example above, I wouldn’t send that to a spammer just to make sure they’re actually trying to steal my money, now would I?

    Reply

  7. By Peter Hampten posted on December 16, 2008 at 6:35 am
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    I can’t believe you are taking time to answer these morons, Thord. Seriously, they can’t have thought about the impact of not protecting your online identity at all! Nor have they looked at the actual services. Personally, I don’t use anything that asks me about login information for OTHER sites, although I’m sure there are safe places to do that. Heck, I won’t even import my contacts from GMail and stuff like that!

    Reply

  8. By Rahsheen posted on December 16, 2008 at 8:07 pm
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    You commented on the function of Twitwall, Twitblogs, and Twitlonger. You mention that Twitwall is potentially a Twitblogs competitor. You can’t compare services if you didn’t bother to actually use them. As I said, had you logged in, you would notice a major difference.

    I suggest that you read your post again. If you wanted to focus on the fact that you’re wary of sharing your Twitter credentials, you should have just stuck with that and left out any mention of how these services function in comparison with each other.

    Reply

  9. By Thord Daniel Hedengren posted on December 17, 2008 at 1:39 am
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    Rahsheen, I never said that I didn’t know how they worked, look etc. Please don’t try to put words in my mouth. However, I said that I didn’t trust Twitblogs with my login credentials – there’s a huge difference.

    I can tell you’re trying to make this out as some sort of bash post of Twitblogs etc. – and perhaps you think all these services are great. You’re missing the point! It’s all about security and who you want to trust. When the “who” in the matter can’t even be investigated, all red flags go up.

    As to wether they are competitors or not, of course they are! Tumblr is also a competitor in this case. This isn’t a review or a feature comparison, but I believe I’ve already said that?

    Reply

  10. By Peter Hampten posted on December 17, 2008 at 6:08 am
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    He just won’t quit will he?! LOL

    Reply

  11. By Eugene Neuvas posted on December 22, 2008 at 2:06 am
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    How dumb are these two guys (“co-founders”) Roger Kondrat and Santosh Panda be? Pretty stupid in my opinion. There are ONLY TWO possibilities that could have happened when they partnered with Sam Sethi to start TwitBlogs.

    First possibility: they knew Sethi was crook from the beginning. Sethi is still their leader which makes TwitBlogs dubious and untrustworthy from all the top guys. On Kondrat’s Twitter bio, he says he is a “social media expert”. Great work there, he totally anticipated the warm welcome they received from everyone especially from Sethi’s old employers and employees.

    Second possibility: Kondrat and Panda did not have a clue Sethi was a crook until the Techcrunch article. Now how dumb could they possibly get to become co-founders? A 2-second search in Google of Sethi’s name will plaster how Sethi screwed everyone, specifically people in his BlogNation company. And these co-founders didn’t even have the brains to check for background; how can anyone trust them will data?

    With a crook like Sethi at the helm, and idiots like Kondrat and Panda as Sethi’s chiefs, does anyone think investors, advertisers, or blog subscribers would shell any money to make TwitBlogs survive? So why would anyone still use a blogging tool that has a very little chance of survival?

    Microbloggers already have choices with Tumblr, Twitwall, or Posterous, all without the dirty laundry. As for TwitBlogs, give it a couple of months, maybe three before the the founder and co-founders screw each other.

    Gene

    Reply

  12. By Mollybob posted on December 22, 2008 at 9:01 pm
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    I tend to agree with your ethical concerns about Sam Sethi. I personally would think pretty carefully about supporting him considering his poor track record. Despite my lack of interest in something that lets me blog more than 140 characters, and my dislike of anyone unethical enough to not pay their employees, I did check out Twitblogs (see my blog here http://mullygrub.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/twitblogs-hype-function-and-opinon/), then changed my Twitter login details as I have the same issues around privacy as you stated. In their defence, it does seem to be a sleek and clean looking tool, and there are heaps of Twitter tools that duplicate each other’s efforts. The issue to me is of whether the tool is secure, useful, and produced by an ethical group. Is Twitblogs the equivalent of donating to a tobacco company? And if so, do you care?

    Reply

  13. By Brittany posted on May 21, 2009 at 10:36 am
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    What would you recommend we use instead then?

    Reply

  14. By Roger Kondrat posted on May 22, 2009 at 12:31 am
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    @Brittany I would recommend you use Twitwall. Twitblogs is dying as I left the company (cough cough forced out) and I heard ‘rumours’ Sam and Santosh have parted ways. Unconfirmed rumours (just to be clear) as I don’t speak with them anymore.

    FYI. Thord probably remembers when I left as he quickly jumped on it as a chance for a story ;)

    @Thord I still think the perspective of this article was unkind and rather inconsiderate of the rest of the team @Twitblogs but in the end it didn’t matter as I think it was the personalities involved at the top (possibly me included) that caused this company to fail.

    What was learned by me is that once a reputation is formed it is often (not always) earned through action or inaction.

    *To all: Take care and thank you to all who supported me and my efforts to get this startup (twitblogs) off the ground (e.g bloggers, peers, friends, family, etc) . To the team of devs in India who were nothing but a positive reflection on a company that faced many additional challenges from day one.

    @Thord please don’t write an article about my comment. Just leave it as is or don’t approve it.

    Cheers
    Roger

    Reply

  15. By Brittany posted on May 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm
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    I have been using Twitblogs, I have had some trouble with it. Will try Twitwall. Thanks for the article & response! (:

    Reply

  16. By Dany posted on June 18, 2009 at 12:36 am
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    A great new service is JumboTweet.com – same idea, but simply and does the job :)
    Cheers!

    Reply

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