9 May 2009

My Twitter Tools

Posted by khk

I’ve been on Twitter for a while now, and over time I used a lot of different tools to make working with the twitterverse a bit easier. This post is not about the tools I’ve written, but the tools I use.



3rd Party Clients

Once you get past a handful of people you follow, taming the flood of tweets in your timeline becomes a fulltime job… or a 24/7 time waster. Very early on, I realized that I would need a Twitter client that allows me to create groups. This means that I divide the people I follow up into at least three groups:

  • friends and family – the people I don’t want to miss a single tweet from
  • the 2nd line of friends and people who have interesting things to say – but I wont panic if I miss a couple of tweets from them
  • the “others” – these are the tweets I resort to when I’m really bored…

I first looked at Tweetdeck, and for a while that seemed like the right solution, but I’ve been running into more and more problems with it. It’s a memory and performance hog. Also, when I have to restart it, I lose important tweets.

Then Seesmic Desktop came along. It’s – just like Tweetdeck – an Adobe AIR application, but is bit more gentle with your system’s memory. However, I don’t like the way I need to configure groups. It’s one user at a time.

I really like Tweetie for the Mac – if it just would support groups, that would be my number one 3rd party Twitter client. No other client makes it as simple to see an ongoing conversation – just double-click on a tweet, and Tweetie will display it.

Right now I’m using Nambu. It’s not perfect, but until Tweetie comes with group support, I’ll probably stick with it.

When I’m using the Twitter web interface, I use Firefox with Greasemonkey installed – that allows me to use “Troys Twitter Script“. It does a lot of things that makes the web interface much more usable:

  • show a conversation
  • expand short URLs
  • rudimentary group support
  • embedded images and YouTube videos
  • name completion

Twitter On The Go

I use the original Tweetie – the one for the iPhone when I’m not at my “big” computer.

Web-based Twitter Tools

When you google “Twitter Tools”, you find list of the best 10 or 100 or 1000 tools… I’ve tried a few, and most of them have some entertainment potential (hey, who does not want to know their Twitter Grade?!? But how often to you need to really check if your grade went up or down a bit. Ask your followers about how good a tweeter you are.

I use a couple of tools that I think are valuable.

Topify makes it easy to follow or block new followers, and to send and receive DM’s via email. Go to their web site and watch the video, it’s good stuff. To make things easier, new-follower emails from Topify contain the MrTweet information about a user. This allows me to usually make a quick decision about following somebody back, or not.

Even though Topify helps me to follow back interesting users, I still have a bunch of older followers to take care of. Tweepler helps me to just go down a list of followers, and, based on data – like number of followers, following and how many tweets per day – I can then decide if I want to follow back.

If you want to export your followers or followees, use FriendOrFollow – it can export all the important information about users in a CSV file that can be imported into Excel, and then you can sort it by whatever criteria you find useful.

I’ve already mentioned MrTweet as part of the Topify follower emails. I also use it occasionally to get a better idea of who somebody is on Twitter. MrTweet can also recommend a user based on recommendations by others. If you like my tweets, recommend me on MrTweet…

So, that’s it. If you have any tools you want to share, please do so in the comments.

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