Five Twitter tools I use

For those of you new to the Twitter game, here are some of the tools I use and my thoughts on them.

I wouldn't call myself a power Twitterer, but I've been using the brevity-focused social network site since last April, largely via auto-posted headlines from my Alpha Doggs network research blog. More recently, I've gotten into the habit of posting other comments. As a journalist, I find Twitter especially useful for tracking hot topics.

For those of you new to the Twitter game, here are some of the tools I use and my thoughts on them (last summer we posted a more elaborate slideshow highlighting tools). I will say that some of these programs tend to take their sweet time about dishing out results, but a lot are still new, even in beta. I should note that I tend to avoid using tools that require me to hand over my Twitter password: After all, hackers now have their claws into Twitter. And I've yet to start using Twitter on a mobile device. (Watch a slideshow of 12 tips for safe social networking.)

Without further ado, the tools:

—  TweetDeck: It's an Adobe Air application currently in public beta that runs on Mac, Windows and Linux systems. It's useful for divvying up the people you follow on Twitter into groups (though wish I could create even more than the eight groups I have: Network World, CIOs/network execs, vendors, analysts), making it easier to follow their Tweets vs. doing so within the basic Twitter interface. It's also easier to Tweet from there than the basic Twitter interface in that you can immediately shorten your URLs within TweetDeck. I've seen some users dismayed that when they go to close a group they've created that they've actually deleted. Confess to doing this once myself.

Had given the widgety desktop client Twhirl a whirl, and sort of liked it, but in the end found it a bit pesky so haven't been using of late.

Twellow: Unsatisfied with Twitter Search and even Advanced Search, I've taken to more often using this Twitter Yellow Pages to search not only by keyword in Tweets, but by keywords in Twitterers bios. Found Twellow helpful in pulling together this list of 12 CIOs who Twitter.

Twitter Grader: Kind of fun just to see how you rank on Twitter and to learn who the Twitter rock stars are. I scored an 85 out of 100 last time I checked. A solid B-plus... Though I suspect there might be some grade inflation going on. The program gives out an awful lot of 100s. Also features TwitSnip, a bookmarklet for tweeting content from any Web page.

TweetStats: Provides colorful graphs of how many tweets you write by month and time of day and interface. I've been averaging 2.1 a day. That doesn't seem too obnoxious, but I suspect I've got the potential to become insufferable. The site claims it has 50,000-plus users.

Tweettag: Another search tool, which searches by Twitter tags, typically front-ended by a # symbol. One nice feature is that when you search on a tag you are presented with a tag cloud of related tags.

A few additional tips for those of you new to Twittering to consider:

— Stick your Twitter address onto your e-mail signature, Facebook profile, etc. to spread the word.

— Colleague Julie Bort advises that you can search for keywords and then toss those keyword searches into your RSS feeder to help you find friends to follow and to use Twitter as a way to get the "scoop" on things.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social networkingtwitter

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Bob Brown

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?