First look: Lazyscope updated tonight (cool Twitter client that uses RSS)

When Ethan Gahng told me this week he had a new Twitter client I almost hung up on him.

After all, does the world really need yet another Twitter client? We already have hundreds of different ones and companies like Seesmic and TweetDeck, not to mention Twitter, have already done an awesome job. I didn’t see what else they might do to really get on my screen.

Let’s just say I was skeptical, but Ethan’s a nice guy and has been trying for a long time to find something that will get me excited.

During the video where he shows me Lazyscope (an Adobe Air-based client for viewing and creating the real-time web) for the first time you’ll hear me switch from being skeptical to seeing the possibilities. That was earlier this week.

Tonight he shipped an update with some of the feedback I gave him (he hadn’t seen an account that followed 27,000 Twitter users run on the service before he came to my house — I let him borrow my account to fix some bugs we both found).

It’s this iteration that has made me a fan, but I think he found something interesting: by mixing Twitter and RSS together you can make a better reading experience. Now each Tweet has a lot more content, if it includes a link to other content he even lets you subscribe to the RSS feed in a user-friendly way.

I’m now using Lazyscope. Is it perfect? No and it won’t be for everyone, but the prefetching of content it does is really cool and useful and saves me time and for that I’m grateful I didn’t blow him off. Why isn’t it perfect? Well, because he chose Adobe Air as the technology it won’t run on my iPhone or iPad, so I can’t use it everywhere. Also, I require a Twitter client to use the new Twitter retweet feature, along with Twitter favorite feature and Lazyscope does its own behavior (he explains that in the video, and tells me he’ll put options in a future version). Also, some people will find the UI too simplistic and want to go back to TweetDeck’s columnar approach or Twitter.com’s bigger fonts.

The update that shipped tonight makes the prefetching work much better, especially on fast-moving streams like mine. You should make sure you have the latest one.

Are you using it? What do you think? First reactions from my friends are very positive. Here’s some other press that LazyScope got this week:

Louis Gray: Lazyscope: An Immersive Twitter Desktop News Experience.

The Next Web: Try This: Lazyscope. Twitter meets RSS reader; subscribe to anything.

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

11 thoughts on “First look: Lazyscope updated tonight (cool Twitter client that uses RSS)

  1. Do not want to sound negative like everyone else has but this is similar to what http://www.shyftr.com/ attempted to do back in 2008 but not real-time and not with twitter feeds. So essentially it has scope to work with a certain class of users but maybe not for all. Good concept and actually gives me an idea for my own UI on startup I am working on.

  2. 2 Reasons his app will not work.

    I will use Feedburner and Google Adsense to illustrate the point.
    1. Log into Feedburner, and click on the Optimize tab, then Summary in the left menu.
    It’s too easy to lead people back to your site with a teaser with Feedburner or any other aggregation service.

    2. Log into Adsense, and look at the Adsense for feeds, not to mention the Adsense for mobile. The reader would at least need to include some type of adblock plus functionality because Google is inserting ads right into the RSS feeds.

    At least in Los Angeles, the real money being put into free content is being done by companies like Demand Media, where they are seeding Google results with millions of McDonalds style articles and using the click through data to write articles based on search demand. In their case with eHow.com
    Nobody’s going to invest to create good news that is simply going to push another company’s adverts.
    That’s the premise of this application. At least Tweetdeck is filtering out a noise firehose. The programmer doesn’t pretend it’s news.

  3. It is like an Adobe Air version of the Twitter website in some ways with the content available with the Tweet and can be expanded into the right hand column.

  4. This sounds like a good tool for RSS. This is what RSS should have been in the first place! It adds alot of extra ease of use and functionality to it. I wonder if you would get alot of duplicate content? I follow Scobleizer on his blog(rss), twitter and youtube account, so would I get 3 messages of Scoble interviewing Lazyscope? :)

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