5 Twitter Applications and Tools that Made Me a Better Twitter User in 2008

Which Twitter Applications have you valued the most in 2008?

Here’s a quick list of 5 that have enhanced my own use of Twitter this year and why:

1. TweetDeck

tweetdeck.pngTweetDeck has become my primary Desktop Twitter client over the last 6 months of the year and has quite literally changed the way that I Tweet on a number of levels.

One of the biggest impacts that it has had is in the way that it builds ‘groups’ into my twitter workflow. This has helped me immensely to manage the noise that is associated with following and being followed by thousands of people.

Groups enable you to select any number of Twitter users to follow in a special window. This means that if you miss their twees in the ‘all tweets’ timeline you are likely to see their tweets in the group you’ve set up.

Also powerful in TweetDeck is the ‘Search’ feature which enables you to track keywords and who is using them right from within your Twitter Client.

tweet-deck.jpg

I’m also a big user of TwitScoop so having the ability to have it included in a window within the client is handy too.

I guess as I think about it – the reason I like TweetDeck is that it enables me to use a variety of tools that could be accessed by a variety of services – all within the one client. I’m not constantly having to run to a search tool, logging into TwitScoop, checking individuals twitter pages – it’s all happening on my desktop in the one application.

I also love that it can be run quite effectively in a single column view or opened up to a more comprehensive one across the full screen.

The fact that TweetDeck is still only at version 0.20b excites me – there’s obviously a lot more to come!

TweetDeck is my Twitter application of the year!

2. Twitterlator Pro

twitterlator-pro.jpg
Another massive change in my use of Twitter mid year was when I started using the iPhone as my primary mobile phone. I’d been looking forward to this for a long time (Australia only got the iPhone with the new 3G version.

Being able to Tweet from the road, local cafe, while waiting for the Train, at the football…. etc was quite a new experience and so I needed an iPhone Twitter client that was up for the job.

I tested them all – starting with the free applications and then progressing to the paid ones. I settled on Twitterlator Pro (itunes url) for a number of reasons.

Perhaps the biggest reason was the ‘replies’ page. Again – my biggest challenge with Twitter is that I am following a lot of people – so to follow the timeline for everyone that I follow is just not practical. When on my iPhone I tend to live more in the ‘replies’ section and Twitterlator Pro has one of the best of these.

I also love that you can manage multiple Twitter accounts from the one application, that you can see Twitpic pictures within messages, that it has a ‘nearby’ feature to find out who is twittering close by – etc. Many of these features can be found within other iPhone Twitter clients but for me Twitterlator Pro simply ‘fits’ with my Twitter workflow.

tweetsville.jpgNote – there is a notable up and coming iPhone Twitter client that could just take the place of Twitterlator Pro.

In the last month or so Tweetsville (itunes url) was launched and while I’m hooked on Twitterlator Pro Tweetsville (website) has been getting more and more of my iPhone Twittering attention because – well, its got most of the features that I use on Twitterlator Pro but just seems more intuitive.

It’s in its early versions so still has room to improve but I suspect will become my #1 iPhone application in 2009 – the only reason I didn’t name it in my main list is because I’ve been using Twitterlator Pro for six months and so it’s really been more useful to me this year than the one month I’ve had with Tweetsville.

3. TwitterBar

twitterBar.pngI almost overlooked this application when planning this list – simply because it’s become such a part of my Twitter workflow that it has almost become invisible.

TwitterBar is a Firefox Add-on that allows me to share links on twitter from the address bar of Firefox.

As I’m surfing – if I find a site that I like and want to share all I do is simply add a few words that I want to include with the link to the address bar (before or after the URL) and then click a tiny little grey button to the right of the address bar. Doing this posts the URL and my message to Twitter.

If I’m not sure if I have enough characters left I hover the cursor over this little grey button and it tells me how many I have left.

There are other tools for sharing URLS on Twitter and I’ve tested many of them – but this little add-on is quick, easy, quick and unobtrusive…. and I use it 10-20 times a day!

4. TwitterFeed

twitterfeed.pngI know some on Twitter don’t like tools that automatically post links from blogs – but…. well I’m a blogger and my Twittering centers around blogging. Add to that that most of my followers are online when I’m asleep because I live in Australian and I needed a tool that would do what TwitterFeed does.

In short – TwitterFeed checks the RSS feeds to my blogs every hour (you can change this frequency) and if something new has appeared in the feed it takes the link and tweets it for me. It allows me to customize the tweets so I can add a little message (“New from TwiTip:” for example) so followers know what the link is.

There are options for what is shown (you can show the title, title and description and description only) and you can even filter your tweets by keywords (so that only some links get posted).

TwitterFeed offers you a range of URL shortening services – I use Tweetburner (twurl) which allows me to go to Tweetburner and check what links are being clicked on most (handy to know as a blogger interested in tracking what posts are connecting with readers most).

Again – there are other tools out there including some good WordPress plugins that do it from your blog – but I use TwitterFeed because…. well it works (99% of the time).

5. TwitScoop

twitscoop.pngThis is another tool that I’m constantly looking at (more than I realize). As mentioned above – I use it largely because it is built into TweetDeck but do use the actual site too.

There are a number of things that I use it for including:

1. It’s my newspaper in the morning – one of the first things I do in the morning is to check TwitScoop to see what is ‘hot’. I’m amazed how much news I find through it over my morning coffee.

2. As a blogger is is a fantastic tool for watching for hot trends and topics that are being discussion right now. A number of times I’ve been able to break stories simply by watching what is ‘buzzing now’.

3. Conferences – it’s also quite useful when you’re at a conference, listening to a speaker or tracking a live event to see what people are saying about it.

Other tools that I’ve been using:

There must be hundreds of Twitter Applications and Tools available now so the above 5 just scratch the surface. I’d love to hear your own Top 5 list in comments below.

Before you do – here’s a few others that I use from time to time.

  • TweetBurner – as mentioned above, I use this to shorten urls and track what gets clicked on (TwitClicks is another of these).
  • Twhirl – I used this a lot at the start of the year and still do on occassion – but TweetDeck has taken it over.
  • Tweetlater – I only use it occassionally but it is useful if you need to set a Tweet to go off later.
  • MrTweet – everyone’s been raving about this new service lately – it recommends people for you to follow based upon your network.
  • TweetBeep – free twitter alerts for keywords
  • TweetScan – another alerts tool
  • TweetStats – interesting stats on your twitter useage

OK – so it’s over to you – what are your Top 5 Twitter Applications and Tools for 2008?

Comments

  • December 13, 2008

    I like Tweetdeck, but if I’m not on a large enough monitor to make sue of it effectively, or want something a little simpler, I tend to use Posty.
    Plus Twilert is quite good for email reports on keywords, rather than having to remember to check on a daily basis.

  • December 13, 2008

    Funny how you posted this today because I just posted my Top 10 Essential Twitter Services and Applications over at my blog!

    Some of my favorite Twitter apps and services include:

    Tweetlater: Tweetlater offers Twitter users a plethora of features, including the ability to post-date a Twitter message, create Twitter alerts for certain words, and more.

    BrightKit: Even though it offers the same features as Tweetburner, what I like about BrightKit (besides its cool interface and design) is I can add my different accounts to it, making them easily accessible on one page.

    TweetBeep: TweetBeep allows you to create ‘alerts’ based on a word or term. Then throughout the day, you will receive emails containing Twitter messages along with who sent them which contained the word or term you created an ‘alert’ for. Great service if you’re doing research on a certain topic or wish to be kept in the loop on when people discuss something you have an interest in.

    Wesley
    The Geek Entrepreneur

  • December 13, 2008

    Terrific list Darren!
    I would like to know what you think of TwitterFon. It’s become my favorite iPhone app for Twitter. (I admit I’m cheap, so I won’t pay for a Twitter app).
    Thanks,
    Josh

  • December 13, 2008

    I tried TweetDeck this week but so many of the people I follow were not available in it (including ProBlogger!) that I uninstalled it the same day. I’m using Twhirl now and I like it a lot. I’ll probably give TweetDeck another try later, maybe after another version is released.

  • December 13, 2008

    I love Twitscoop, it is a great resource. I also love using Tweetburner. I just started to use Monitter, it looks a lot like tweetdeck but it is browser-based and instead of tracking your particular twitter account it tracks by keywords that you enter and you can narrow it down by location, very cool tool.

  • December 13, 2008

    I love using Twubble to see who maybe the next person I follow…and also Tweet2Tweet to remember what I was tweeting to someone ages ago. It’s a great tool, when you already forgot what you said and someone responds to it.

  • December 13, 2008
    Debbie Small
    @debbiesmall

    I just started using TweetDeck and really like it. Thx for the pointers.

  • December 13, 2008

    Twitterfox for at work and Tweetdeck for at home.

    Twitterfox I find less intrusive in the corp environment, so I can still keep up, tweet, reply, etc while working away… and then at home I can use Tweetdeck to have the full twitter experience.

  • December 13, 2008

    I also love Tweetdeck!
    I will definitely be checking out tweetburner following this post.
    Thanks

  • December 13, 2008

    Another TwitterFox user right here.

  • December 13, 2008

    Oh my, I am so behind! Need to learn and upgrade. Thanks for the tip.

    Liza

  • December 13, 2008

    testing if my Twitter ID will work here (I wrote it wrong on my previous comment)

    Aloha! Liza

  • December 13, 2008

    oppss.. last chance please – I know it’ll work this time. Thanks.

  • December 13, 2008

    http://twitter.peoplebrowsr.com is a great browser-based alternative to TweetDeck (which I liked better when it used a DB to store data rather than relying only on the online feeds)

  • December 13, 2008

    I extensively use Twhirl , Twittytunes , Twitter Grader and Twitter Feed :)

  • December 13, 2008

    I’m taking a second look at TweetDeck, even though I wrote a positive review of Twitterific here less than a month ago. I get a lot of noise on Twitter and I need a better way to manage the tweets. Also, Twitterific has a limit on the number of tweets it shows, so if I’m away from the computer for a couple of hours, I have lost at least one hour worth of tweets.

  • December 13, 2008

    For Gmail lovers, you should check Twittergadget: http://www.twittergadget.com/
    Plus, URL Shortener for Gmail as its best complement: http://hackaddict.blogspot.com/2008/12/gmail-url-shortener.html

    Both stay on your Gmail sidebar and make it easy for you to twit while checking your emails!

  • December 13, 2008

    Those are great applications and tools but I’m going to stick with TwitterFox for Firefox. It is just really easy to use and I never have to go to the Twitter web site. It is pretty sweet because it hooks on the bottom bar of Firefox.

  • December 13, 2008

    I think this is a great post. I have tried other twitter-blog plug ins and none have worked. Will definitely check out Twitterfeed and also Tweetdeck to make the most of my Twitter experience. Right now I’m using Twhirl and Twitterberry on my phone. Love Twitterberry for Blackberry users it’s great to keep up on the go! But it takes so much memory even with my memory card it kills my phones performance!

    Thanks for the great tips!

  • December 13, 2008

    1. Twhirl – My favorite Tweet aggregator
    2. Twitterfox (best for those at companies that won’t let you install 3rd party software on your work computer)
    3. Twitpic – For those times when an image works better than words
    4. Twitterwall – for those times when 140 characters isn’t nearly enough
    5. TinyURL – Not exactly a Twitter app, but hard to tweet links without it.

  • December 13, 2008

    Great pots, in my case i use twitterfox a plug for wordpress wp to twitter they function great for me and well until know i feel glad to be using them.

  • December 13, 2008

    Darren, you can’t seriously be telling me that you prefer Tweetsville over Tweetie! I bought Tweetsville on the hype, and hated it. Tweetie was instant awesome. Give it a try!

  • December 13, 2008

    TweetDeck is awesome and still has great potential to develop into much bigger application – I can’t imagine my “tweeting” without it.

  • December 13, 2008

    I use tweetdeck when i’m at home with a second monitor. I also use tweeriffic (sp?) in the iphone. The hardest part like darren said is the replies. I’m going to look in to Twitterlator Pro for the iphone and twitterfeed. I really appreciate darren for being honest on looking at what people are clicking for their interest. You can always write the same post but just use words and phrases your audience is interested in.

  • December 13, 2008

    Oh, what I love about tweetscoop is watching the tags change from hour to hour. Funny…in the early morning people will tweet about the time so the tags will start popping up….1am, 2am, 3am and etc.

  • December 13, 2008

    I second Twubble. The only thing is I think I’m going to have to create multiple Twitter accounts for each niche I am interested in, because then Twubble works REALLY well.

  • December 13, 2008

    Great list of tools, my fave is by far TweetDeck. Helps to filter through all the noise on Twitter :-)

  • December 13, 2008

    I’ve recently switched to TweetDeck myself although I am still using Twhirl for some functionality (I posted my quick and dirty review of TweetDeck versus Twhirl earlier today).

    I’ve also been using Twitter Tools to integrate my blog with Twitter. Quick and easy to use, it will even turn Tweets into blog posts…ok so I haven’t found where that would be useful for me just yet.

    However I am intrigued by what TwitterFeed can do, particularly the Twurl integration (TwitterTools relies on Twitter’s built in URL shortening functionality).

  • December 13, 2008

    Other apps I’d recommend

    TweetGrid – for live monitoring of keyword searches
    TweetLater – for some automation and daily reply emails
    Search.Twitter.com via RSS – great for watching topics of interest
    Mr. Tweet – For discovering people you should follow
    for iPhone I use the free Twitterfon
    Good post and I second the vote for Tweetdeck and Twitterfeed

    Tsudohnimh
    website: http://Knowthenetwork.com
    follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/tsudo

  • December 13, 2008

    I use tweetbeep.com and twitterfox for firefox. I have a blog about the show Arrested Development and anytime someone mentions it I get an email and I follow that person. Awesome. I have over 900 followers in about a week’s worth of time.

  • December 13, 2008

    I agree with you the biggest app that changed the way I use Twitter is TweetDeck. I love the groups you can create. Twitter is so big and the potential to make contacts with people all over the world and spectrum of types of people I follow and interact with and groups make that so much easier. I’ll have to check out the other Apps you mentioned, especially Twitterlator Pro, have any body used Twitterfon?

  • December 13, 2008

    That Twitter Mug is pretty sweet too tho! A mug made easy with all of your Twitter follows on it? I drink my daily morning coffee in that every day fo’sho. I got mine at http://www.crowdedink.com.

  • December 13, 2008

    So with twitterfeed I won’t have to write that I have written a post from my blog?

  • December 13, 2008
    Chris
    @cjow

    Tweetdeck is sweet, but when using it I experience my computer running a bit slow.

    Twitterbar is totally sweet. I usually have to pop over to tinyurl.com to shorten the page and then hop back over to twitter to post. Thanks for this. I think it’ll improve my efficiency.

    Totally addicted to this blog.
    Keep ‘em coming

    Thanks again

  • December 15, 2008

    I’m also into PeopleBrowsr http://www.peoplebrowsr.com, seems very intuitive. It’s still alpha, so it must bring some other interesting features pretty soon. MrTweet was also a big plus for me in using Twitter.

  • December 15, 2008

    I’m currently using twhirl, both on my computer and on the iPhone.

    I’ve heard lots of issue of space and energy of Tweetdeck, that I’m not yet convinced there return on investment there.

    I’m going to go take a look at Tweetsville, though. . . .

  • December 16, 2008

    I like Twidget, but it could be because I have a small obsession with arranging the widgets on the dashboard of my Macbook…though I do like how uncomplicated it is, and it doesn’t require me to load the page. Also, love updating from Flock web browser.

    follow me? : ]
    http://twitter.com/haylehs

  • December 16, 2008

    Great list ,thanks. I also love Qwitter – it sends you an email when someone stops following you.

  • December 18, 2008

    I just love the FireFox extension, TwitterFox. Also, have been using TwitterBerry on my Blackberry. I liked TweetDeck, but since I have more than one TwitterID, it didn’t work for me. For multiple accounts, Twhirl is great!

  • December 25, 2008

    Here is a monster list of more than 200 twitter applications : http://i-stuff.blogspot.com/search/label/Twitter

  • January 13, 2009
    Gordon Fletcher
    @GordonF

    Using a portable twitter client (Pwytter) running on a usb drive http://portableapps.com/node/13317 pretty handy at work

  • January 15, 2009

    I have been using TweetDeck and think it’s great, however, as I’ve recently set up a second Twitter account I’ve decided to give BrightKit a try to manage them both at the same time.

    It remains to be seen whether it’ll live up to the high expectations I’ve got after using TweetDeck!

  • January 19, 2009

    Like tweetdeck especially the possibility to form groups but it is taking a lot of memory, any alternatives?
    Kind regards Dr Shock

  • March 5, 2009

    My favorites:
    Nearby Tweets
    Tweetie for the iPhone
    Retweetist
    Twitturly
    Twitter Friends

  • March 5, 2009
  • April 7, 2009

    What do you think about http://www.twittlink.com? It’s memetracker for Twitter that uses semantic analysis to group links on the same subject. The tags and search module help you find topics of interest to you.

  • May 2, 2009
    Tim

    I have tried other twitter-blog plug ins and none have worked. Will definitely check out Twitterfeed and also Tweetdeck to make the most of my Twitter experience. Right now I’m using Twhirl and Twitterberry on my phone.

  • June 25, 2009
    Justin K.

    Great post! You should add Ref.ly to your list. It’s an amazing new tool for turning Bible verses into short URLs.

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