TweetDeck – How Tweet It Is

Mitch JoelPosted by

If you are a fan of Twitter, you should make a point to download and try TweetDeck. Twitter is like looking through a keyhole and TweetDeck is like having your own NORAD system for the micro-blogging platform.

With more and more brands venturing into the micro-blogging platform, Twitter, and more and more people talking, interacting and discussing brands, people and the randomness that is on their mind, the traditional Twitter interface has severe limitations. If you want to do any kind of formal search for keywords or hashtags on Twitter, you have to head over to Twitter Search. If you want to create a shortened URL link, you have to find one of the many resources (like TinyURL or bit.ly). If you want to be able to see more than one conversation on Twitter, there was no options… until now.

Enter TweetDeck.

TweetDeck is an Adobe Air application – meaning, you have to first download the Adobe Air runtime (which is free) and from there it’s a pretty simple installation process. Adobe Air enables you to run an online application and program without having to use a Web Browser (I’ll be Blogging sometime in the near-future on Adobe Air, so stay tuned). TweetDeck runs from your computer like any other software, and it turns Twitter into an amazing and three-dimensional experience. With the ability to view up to ten columns at once. Upon launching TweetDeck, you can see everybody you are following, another column for replies, one for direct messages and then you can customize the other columns at your will. I use them for the main keywords I am tracking (namely, "mitchjoel", "bizbookreview", "six pixels" and "twist image"). You can even set-up groups for specific people you are following or to filter your main group.

TweetDeck is robust.

Even when you want to create your own Tweet, there is an additional space to enter a URL and an automatic "shorten URL" tool that features almost all of the URL shortening services, and the ability to send a picture through TwitPic. What makes TweetDeck so robust is that it is perfect for the Twitter power users and equally useful and simple for the person just trying to figure this whole micro-blogging world out.

The only challenge with TweetDeck is how addictive it is. Depending on how you customize it (and there’s plenty of customizing to be done), you can really create a full on nerve centre for your brand, products, services and competitors. TweetDeck makes it easy to organize your followers and very simple to post, update and stay engaged with people – each person you follow can be communicated with by simply dragging your mouse over their picture where you can reply, direct message, retweet or favourite their content.

The one thing missing in TweetDeck is the ability to manage multiple Twitter accounts through the one interface (but I’m sure it is being worked on as we tweet).

If you’re using Twitter, you really should try out TweetDeck. It will give you a whole new (and wider) perspective of what can be done in 140 characters or less.

15 comments

  1. I recently switched over from Twitterific for the Mac to TweetDeck. I’m still learning how to use it to best effect. Thanks for some tips I hadn’t thought about.
    The main drawback of TweetDeck is that it’s such a resource hog. Compared with other Twitter clients for the Mac, it uses up to 6 times the memory, CPU time and virtual memory.
    Still, if you have the computer resources, I believe that it’s the best client out there.

  2. Hi Mitch,
    I’ve tried twirl, web-based twitter and twitteriffic and none compare to Tweetdeck.
    Initially I didn’t like how it took over versus the opaqueness of twitteriffic but once you get used to it you begin to use it as a standalone tool which, as you mentioned, makes it highly addictive but more effective too.
    I’d love to see a spellcheck as I’m horrible when knee-jerk reponding to tweets but I guess that is part of the fun. I’ve also heard that a spell check is in the works for a future update as well.
    Fav options are the search columns. If they had a smart search (were you looking for…) then that would knock this thing out of the park but you can only ask for some much at a time.
    It rocks so well that I have to shut it down when I need to really get some work done.
    It’s rapid fire engagement also enable great conversations and cross tweep connections to get real work done too.
    Needless to say, I’m a big fan.
    Thanks
    Craig Moore
    @spidervideo on Twitter

  3. I love using TweetDeck. Customization capabilities make it the best Twitter app around. I run TweetDeck on Windows and Twhirl on Linux (TweetDeck still not fully functional). I like that TweetDeck can be resized tu use a large area of the desktop. Search is sweet, especially since searching for other people on twitter is no longer easily available as it used to.
    On the other hand I don’t like that read tweets disappear upon restarting the app.

  4. I just discovered TweetDeck a few minutes ago, must admit – I liked it right away. Its interface is miles ahead of the headache of Twitter’s. The filters and search just make things simpler. And I like simple.

  5. TweetDeck is great BUT as you pointed out, Mitch, there is a downside. Real time conversation and social networks can be very addictive and because Tweetdeck tends to cover your desktop from one side to the other, it is hard to resist. When you follow a couple of hundred people tweeting altogether every few seconds, the automatic refresh function is a real time killer. So enjoy it but as I do… but take care as I don’t 😉

  6. Tweetdeck lives on my second monitor.
    I think the application is the most interesting client out there but I look forward to the UI tightening up a bit (it is clunky right now) and some of the text/input bugs to be resolved. I do think the fact that you can build streams of users through groups is amazing, It reminds me a bit of the channels in jaiku.
    I look forward to watching this client grow, it really should be commended for standing out from the pack.

  7. I always have Tweetdeck open on my second monitor at work, and at home. It really is the best visualization, especially as you start to follow more and more. Though it does tend to lose twits if you have the api set up to refresh longer than it takes twits to expire.
    It is also a great exercise in data visualization (non-twitter-specific). I’ve been trying to figure out a killer app to push out data to screens in our elevator bays, and TweetDeck is one of the best dashboard-style visualizations for regularly updated format-and-size-limited data that’s come around.

  8. I definitely favor the usability of TweetDeck opposed to the actual Twitter site. I’m keeping this application at full-size in a Mac ‘spaces’ window.

  9. I switched to TweetDeck from Twitteriffic about a month and a half ago (I think I had just topped following 500, and was starting to get overwhelmed). I have experimented with it quite a bit and I have to say TweetDeck changed the way I use Twitter and has greatly increased the value of my interactions there. I keep it running in its own ‘spaces’ window and use all 10 panes for grouping. Excellent App!

  10. Other than Groups, Twhirl has TweetDeck beat for 2 reasons: FriendFeed and multiple Twitter account support. Both dealbreakers for me.
    What they BOTH desperately need is spell check.

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