I can’t believe I’ve been using Twitter for two years. Over that time I’ve tried a number programs and services that promise to enhance, make it easier to use or just make Twitter more fun. I used to manage everything from the Twitter website, but that’s become time consuming as the number of people I follow has increased.
Just for reference, I’m currently following about 1800 people. You can add me from my profile page if you’re interested.
I wrote a similar post about a year ago, but a lot has changed in 12 months. I’ve settled on a few services that I regularly use. Here’s a list of my favorites.
Favorite Client – TweetDeck
If I could only use one of these tool or services, TweetDeck would be it. This is a must have application for those who follow more than a few hundred people. My favorite feature is how TweetDeck allows me to organize those follow by creating groups. It might be too much for those new to Twitter, but it’s changed the way and frequency I connect with others more than anything else here. For example, I’ve created a group called Friends. When any of these people tweet it shows up in its own window making. You can even create groups based on keyword searches.
The only downside for some is that TweetDeck takes a lot of screen real estate. It’s made for those running dual monitors. Try Twhirl if you are short on screens. But the best compliment I can give TweetDeck is that it makes Twitter more fun.
Here’s how my configured TweetDeck looks. I’ve created groups for All Tweets, Replies, Friends, Sent, and Direct Messages.
Favorite Follower Manager – Twitter Karma
This service has grown on me over the months to the point where I use at least one a week. Twitter Karma, like TweetDeck, is probably more useful to those who follow or are followed by more than a few hundred people.
Basically, Twitter Karma makes it easy to see the following:
- People I follow who follow me
- People who follow me but I don’t follow them
- People I follow who don’t follow me
I care most about #2 above because it lets me catch someone worth following that I missed merely looking at my list of followers at Twitter home. It also allows you to bulk follow or unfollow. Some people use this service to prune people they follow who haven’t reciprocated, and it makes quick work of that. But I’ve enjoyed Twitter more the less I worry about who or how many are following me. I try to focus on following interesting people who make me laugh and whom I can learn from.
Favorite Stats Service – TweetStats
This falls into the fun category of Twitter tools. TweetStats was created by Damon Cortesi and is a lot of fun to use. Wonder when you send the most tweets or whom you tweet most often? This will tell you.
Favorite General Service – Twitter Grader
This polished tool takes a number of helpful services and combines them into one. At first you might be most interested in what your “grade” is, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a number of neat features that enhance Twitter.
My favorite feature is how it looks at my profile suggest people in my vicinity to follow. For example, I’m presented here with a number of people around Seattle that might be interesting to follow which I can do right from the page if you’re logged into the service. Twitter Local provides a similar, if not more detailed service but I don’t use it as frequently as Twitter Grader.
Favorite URL Shortener/Link Sharer – Tweetburner
This is an interesting service, and it may not be apparent why you’d want to use a service like this at first glance. This service is for people who want to shorten a URL to send over Twitter and find out how many people clicked on the link. It’s sort of like a TinyURL with stats if that makes sense. It’s simple to use, and I enjoy seeing which links get the most traffic.
There are many other fun Twitter services out there for the using, but these are the five I’ve come to rely on and use regularly. I would have added Summize to the list, but they were recently purchased by Twitter and have become the standard Twitter search.
What Twitter tools and services have you come to rely on?
Update: One of my readers pointed out that I didn’t include a single mobile application and he’s right. I own a crappy Windows Mobile phone for now so I don’t access Twitter much with it. When I do, I use m.twitter.com. If I eventually get an iPhone I’m sure that will change, but I do 99% of my twittering from a laptop or desktop computer running Windows Vista.