Just like in real life, your online social life will expand to fit any amount of time you give it. Twitter is the most notorious for this “productivity drain” – that’s why talented programmers have taken it upon themselves to create new ways to make managing your online social life even easier. Here are seven of the most popular software applications you can use to effortlessly keep up with Twitter (and other popular networks) even when you can’t be constantly connected.
1. Twitterberry – If you have a Blackberry, you can use the free Twitterberry application to post directly to Twitter. You don’t even need to use SMS as Twitterberry accesses and posts tweets directly over the network. One potential downside is that posting and gathering tweets can be slower than what you’re used to. Twitter itself limits tweet requests to about 70 per hour and Twitterberry accesses them even less frequently than that, according to their FAQ.
2. Tweetie – A superb application for managing your tweets from your iPhone, Tweetie integrates alerts (like Tweetbeep.com), a search function and multiple accounts so you can stay connected at all times. If you’re looking for alternative iPhone Twitter clients, you might also like to try Hahlo, Tweetsville or Twittelator Pro
3. SocialToo – Keep your updates and followers synched across several social networks. In addition to Twitter, SocialToo also works with Facebook, Identi.ca, and RSS. You can also use it to create and submit surveys across your social network. SocialToo will auto-follow anyone who follows you but there is a filtering option available to prevent spammers from clogging up your Twitter timeline.
4. Twitterfox – Use Firefox to manage your tweets and see when your friends have updated theirs through a small, unobtrusive notification button. If you’d rather not download a Twitter software program and use your browser to stay up-to-date on Twitter, Twitterfox is the program for you.
5. Tweet All About It – Right up there with tweeting directly from Firefox is Tweet All about It, which lets you highlight and tweet any snippet of text using Internet Explorer or Firefox. The Firefox version will also show you how many characters you’ve highlighted. Tweet your snippet by right clicking and choosing Tweet All About It.
6. PowerTwitter – A free Firefox extension that lets you do broad and user-based searches, as well as post inline links to YouTube, Flickr, TwitPic, Google Maps and more. Also shrinks and unwinds links – helpful for when you’re not sure where that TinyURL really goes. Works with #hashtags too.
7. EventBox – One for the Mac users! Not free, but at $15, EventBox is a great way to keep all your social services in one place. Works with Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, RSS and Flickr to name a few. View photos, see friend updates and post your Tweets from one sleek application
Just for Fun
So you’ve been using Twitter for awhile – but just how much has it benefitted you? Here are a couple of interesting ways to see just how broad your reach is, or how much time you’ve wasted, with Twitter.
Twitalyzer – See just how much influence you really have on Twitter. Measures your influence, signal-to-noise ratio, generosity, clout and more. See just how popular you are in the Twitterverse
Tweetwasters – How much time do you spend on Twitter? According to Tweetwasters which calculates approximately how much time you spend on Twitter by the number of your tweets, @problogger has spent nearly 4 days of his life connected to Twitter!
If you have a great social networking software recommendation that helps you stay up to date on Twitter, why not post it in the comments below?