Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's a Tweet New World

Part 1 Twitter Peripherals

I made a statement recently that I think Twitter is going to hit the mainstream really soon. Celebrities, athletes, and politicians are now using and finding the service to be very useful. That means that as people that are in demand embrace new media, it will trickle down to the rest of us.

So as the rest of us come out of denial that this is a niche tool for geeks that like to hear themselves talk, I figured it was time to run a short series on some tools and tricks in Twitter and help get people acquainted with some of the lingo that's involved. This will be very basic, so I'm not going to talk over anyone's head, hopefully.

First, I did a poll of current Twitter users to see how they send their messages or Tweets (isn't that adorable?). After a quick informal review, most people still use the web interface at Twitter. Then comes people who are using Adobe Air applications such as Twhirl and Tweetdeck. A couple nerds are using the Twitterific app on their Macs, I have not had such luxury, but I have used their mobile application on my iPod Touch. The last group uses apps on their phones such as Twitteriffic, Tweetie, Twitterfon and mobile web apps such as Hahlo.

I know, that is an overload to people who have never used anything besides the website to update, so I'm going to talk about the apps and services that I use so things stay simple. There is a wiki showing all the applications you can use with Twitter. Above any recommendations I say go here first, and find the application that works best for you the user. Go to the wiki first!

On my desktop lately, I have been using Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck is an AIR application that feeds your friend updates, replies, direct messages, but the feature that wins me over is the ability to create custom groups. With this ability, I can turn down the noise that comes with having following 300 people, I can just tune into the people I want to hear first. That is why I recommend this over other desktop applications.

m.twitter.com is the basic mobile site for those who have not moved into the smart phone realm and it works fine on my old RAZR. It's a very neat feeling to be able to send a text to Twitter and it updates your status. It's a lot cooler than it sounds. Now that I have an iPod Touch, I can use their applications. The iPhone was made for applications and having great Twitter apps is only half the fun.

Hahlo is the great web application for me with great functionality and I recommend checking them out, but as far as actual apps I prefer using Twitterfon. I love the look, the feel, and the interaction and it's been relatively glitch free for me. Plus it is the most simple app from my experience as far as figuring out what goes where and how to use it. That's what this post is all about, simplicity. Twitterfon is a great basic app.

Once new users get their hands dirty with these applications, they'll be able to quickly see why there has been such tremendous growth and get even more addicted to sending those Tweets.

And don't forget to add me! (mlewis106)