Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Twitter Clients

Do you know what "twitter" is? If not, go check it out at http://www.twitter.com. It is basically a "micro-blogging" tool; where you can post 140 characters at a time about anything (from what you are doing now to anything you can think of). You can follow other people - meaning that everytime they "tweet" or post in their twitter account, you will get their post. People can also follow you - so anytime you post something, they will get it.

There are new outlets, engineers, gadgets reviewers, etc (including Barack Obama) that are in twitter - and you can follow them and get their posts.

Twitter.com provides a web interface where you can interact with your post (post new post, reply, direct message, etc). But, there are also several twitter clients out there that allow you to be twittering without opening up a web browser. I will review 2 of them in this post - which are ones I used the most.

1. Twhirl: http://www.twhirl.org
Twhirl has a nice UI, slim, almost YM/AIM/MSN like. It provides the basic Twitter functions such as: posting, replying, direct message, viewing particular people's tweet, fave-ing a tweet, shorten URL, etc.

It also has several things that are very appealing: changing colors, multiple twitter accounts, automatic checking for new version and upgrade, MSN like notifications for new tweets.

There are also several things that I wish were better in twhirl, such as: not limiting displayed tweets to 20 tweets, truncate/not display replies and direct messages from the past, and add functionality for "grouping" people.

2. TweetDeck: http://www.tweetdeck.com
Tweetdeck is not as pretty as Twhirl, but for what it can do, it does them well. Tweetdeck has this feature that allows you to create "groups" - so you can group people together. For example, you can group tweets from your work friends together in its own column and tweets from your family is a different column altogether.

Its notification system is only telling you how many tweet it got and belong to what group, so it is not as nice as Twhirl (which tells you the actual tweet). Tweetdeck is also capable to display more than your last 20 tweets and clean up past replies/directs nicely.

There you have it, the 2 client apps that I use for twittering and there are many more out there. If you do not know what Twitter is, I urge you to check it out and give it a try - and urge your friends to join as well. The more friends you have, the better and more fun it is.

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