I use Tweetdeck as my desktop Twitter client. It's a pretty smart example of what can be done with the Twitter APIs, and I generally find it very usable and useful. However, something happened an hour or so ago that is making me reconsider my Tweetdeck love.
I got an automatic update offer, which is something that happens every few weeks with Tweetdeck. I accepted, naturally — bugfixes are always welcome after all, and there should be no reason to assume an ulterior motive with such things. Then I saw my new "version". Apparently Tweetdeck can now be skinned, and in this case they chose to demonstrate it with an all-pervasive Blink 182 theme.
Blink 182 background. Button at the top for Blink 182's feed. Even the damn notification sound — admittedly irritating at the best of times — had been changed from a tweeting sound to a stab of distorted guitar.
I like Blink 182, as it happens, and I am also naturally fascinated by Web 2.0 operations' attempts to pull in the filthy lucre. But this was just disrespectful. The update offer carried no warning whatsoever of the looming theme — it was just foisted on me. It even failed as a Blink 182 promotion, making me associate the band with unpleasant and obnoxious surprises (although the band has admittedly never shied away from the crass).
Tweetdeck: seriously. There are many rival clients — my displeasure has been received by friends with recommendations for Twhirl and Seesmic — and it would only take another stunt like this to make me and many others switch over.
Theme away, brand away, but warn your users first. Show some respect.
PS — for those of you who are similarly affected by Tweetdeck's little surprise, you can go to their website to reinstall the client with its nice, unobtrusive black background.