I must write quickly before my internet signal fades…again…
Before I get to the magnificence of TweetDeck, I must let everybody know. I haven’t been able to post in several days because Neighbor A switched to a diff. wireless provider, one that is a secure line. So I can’t piggy-back on it like I used to.
So now I use Neighbor B, whose signal fades in and out. So sometimes I can get as far as seeing the front page of Google, sometimes not even the Google graphic displays. Sometimes I can log into my Twitter account, sometimes not. Most times, I cannot get into my blog and yet, today the connectivity ran smooth like butter. Go figure.
Biggest nuisance is when I make a blog post with many images. Images R fun! A weak internet connection means problems uploading images. It’s truly a pain when a post takes several hours to complete. 😦
I am sadly reconsidering DSL service again, simply because anything internet services where I live costs $60.00 USD or more. Sucks balls. No, no dial-up for me; it’s useless for those of us who spend 12 or more hrs online; no joke. Now I’m praying to God almighty in heaven that Clearwire finally makes it’s way up north where it would make a killing in this area!
But I digress…
For I am about to unleash today the texty goodness of the TweetDeck Twitter application for all you Twitter users, and why you should never go without it!
First off, if you’re not familiar with Twitter, then this post is perfectly useless. Get a Twitter account, try it out for awhile, then return to this post. We’ll see you in a bit…!
TweetDeck is such a useful tool for anyone of us immersed in Twitterverse. If you already know what a regular Twitter page looks like- wait, lemme back up a sec. For useful comparison, here is a snapshot of my Twitter page:
Ok, so there, you see? Home page, with right sidebar containing everything you see.
One of Twitter’s credits is it’s simple interface. Which is great, but there’s very little control with every tweet you post. You can only Reply to, or Erase a tweet. You can mark a tweet as Favorite, and send a Direct Message to a fellow tweeter.
In TweetDeck, you can do that and more. Advantages include the following:
- ReTweet someone’s tweet
- mark a tweet as Seen (just as you mark emails received as Read/ useful for too many tweets coming in)
- view a tweeter’s profile from their actual tweet instead of clicking away from the main page (you get redirected to their Twitter profile)
- Filter and Clear any tweets
- Opens up in it’s own window outside your web browser so you can surf the net comfortably and use it simultaneously instead of alternatively
- create Groups of your followers/ who you follow- and list them in customized columns
- shift any columns around to your liking
- you can actually shorten a tweet to meet the 140 character requirement
- Shortens any URL addresses you post
That last one is especially important since I was using TwitPwr to do just that, although it’s unique advantage is that it posts whatever URL you shortened on their front page. (get’s you some traffic to your Twitter profile and not sure TweetDeck can do that yet)
But another issue I have with regular Twitter interface is that, in order to view Favorites, Followers, OK-basically everything in the sidebar- is that it redirects you away from the main page. And that’s where all the action is! It’s where everyone who has followed you or you followed them, posts their tweets. So I have to click forward to another page, or click backwards. Or, open these up in different tabs in my Firefox browser (slows down computer) or, in different windows in any other browser. Not fun. Not practical.
In TweetDeck, you can see all the action in front of you, and you can see Favorites and Followers and all the Twiter sidebar goodness right in front of you! In fact, you can set it up to show up as side-by-side columns, which is does by default. Don’t like that? You can customize what shows up in those columns. Beautiful!
Twitter tweets are posted in real time. However, you have to constantly refresh the page to see new tweets and you don’t know where the cut-off mark is from the last one you saw to how far back that is. And everyone in Twitterverse tweets pretty often and pretty fast!
TP has columns that scroll up & down. You can see for yourself how far up & down to go. Most important, new tweets show up by themselves in real time. BONUS: new tweets sound a little chime to alert you, AND, a tiny black window in red letters appears at the corner of your screen to alert you of newest tweets. This window will show up over any application you have running on your screen. How useful is that!
Why would I need to know all that?
Because some of the folks I follow post tweets with links to their latest blog posts, of which are extremely helpful. Before TweetDeck, I had to keep going back several pages on Twitter and those pages load up slowly. Ironic, being such a simple GUI. Thanks to TD, we’ll have no more missed tweets of blog posts!
SO WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
I installed it this morning and have been using it all day, so I’ve only listed here what I already learned. Well, I’m talking too much. Lemme show you what it looks like in full mode splashed across my 15″ screen:
Here, I reduced my TD window to only one column width. Like I said, I have a laptop with only a 15″ screen but if you look around on YouTube for TD tutorials, those people have huge 30″ screens and such and it’s there that you can see TD at it’s best.
Ok, so you likey? Then read on to find where you download this nifty application we call TweetDeck…
When you get there, this is what it will look like:
Just as it states on TD’s page, TD is an Adobe AIR application. That means it’s made to run with the Adobe AIR application.
I had trouble downloading AIR from the TD page (my computer said it was a corrupted file) so I got it straight from the Adobe page. Which is just as well since they have all the latest versions. Love Adobe products BTW! You can get TD from their page no problem, although I clicked on the link and not on the picture of the blackbird. (that didn’t work for me for some reason)
As far as I know, TD is not associated with Twitter itself. You don’t even need to open Twitter to use it because you can log into your Twitter account directly from TD. You are however, required to have a Twitter account first, and to have your internet turned on.
And in short, I highly recommend this application to anybody who heavily uses Twitter, is a complete and utter Twitterholic, or has zillions of followers/ followees. Anyhoo! Enjoy TweetDeck and see you in Twitterverse!
*Update: After using this TweetDeck Beta, I learned about their API usage (it’s in settings) that draws from Twitter’s limited API usage. You can easily go over your max. alotted Twitter API by doing the following: Refreshing; Retweeting; opening profiles within TweetDeck. This version also was known to have bugs so many folks were complaining about it constantly crashing but that seems to have been fixed now. Enjoy TD!