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.
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.