Social Tools that let us down

There’s been some smart and engaging conversation by other bloggers in response to my Technorati and Me post about the decline of a social media tool I had once relied upon.

Shel Israel points out that it is inevitable and healthy that different tools will rise and fall as the social Web evolves: “Tools get better and we abandon old ones. … Following the evolution of tools is a good way to track the evolution of people all the way back to the time we lived in caves.  Technorati made some mistakes as a company if you ask me, but what’s really relevant is that someone else came out with a better tool and people moved on.”

Neville Hobson, who started the discussion with Shel Holtz on the FIR podcast 373 offered, “So my perception of Technorati now as a blog search tool is that it isn’t reliable any longer (although to be fair, I did a search just now, which did work). I end up Googling which, let’s face it, always works. And so I don’t use Technorati any more as a primary place to search. I still refer to Technorati when researching influencers online although I sometimes wonder how reliable that core aspect of its service really is, things like authority and ranking.”

Ari Herzog posts about his experience with Technorati: “What does it mean when I search on Technorati for “Michael Phelps” and find 11,030 results; whereas Google Blog Search provides 279,743?” I think it confirms that Technorati has fallen hopelessly behind.

Colin McKay riffs on his inability to stay faithful to any social media app. “I’m just a gigolo, baby. I’m looking for the short term hit, the thrill ride. … When it comes to online social media apps, I’ll grab on to something that’s functional and serves my needs. Is your app weak in some respect? Giddyup, I’m doubling up!”

Finally, Bob LeDrew carried the conversation forward with his reflections on two social apps that had let him down – Picassa -“my utter failure to get this to work, or to understand the benefits of it for me, after about three attempts at different times and on different machines, remains an unhealed wound” – and Pandora – “which I fell in absolute love with, and then closed off access to subscribers out of the United States.”

Do you have a story of a social media tool that you used to rely on but which let you down?

UPDATE:

Shel Holtz adds his own assessment of the problem with Technorati.

Dave Fleet adds FeedBurner to the list of disappointing services.

  • Two words: Fail Whale.

  • Connie, Twitter had its problems. And for a while it looked like it might give an opening to open source identi.ca. However, in the past couple of months, I’ve noticed that the Twitter service has been much more reliable.

    Is Twitter an example of a service that let us down or a service that figured out its problems and has gotten better. Are we prepared to give it a second chance?

  • Personally I’ve stuck with Twitter through this and I agree with Joe’s assessment that it has been much more reliable recently. Its failure to restore IM service keeps it on the edge of the precipice for me though.

    I’ve also noticed a drop in the level of conversation (i.e. replies, rather than numbers of twitter messages) on Twitter recently. That could just be me, though.

  • That’s funny, Dave. I’ve seen an increase in replies and direct messages in accordance with an increase in followers. Then again, I’ve increased my followees, too. So who knows the reason why things happen.