So by now you’ll know that I use Twitter. It’s part of this blog (see the left hand column) and fast becoming the best way to communicate bullet points and sound bites of information by mobile phone and computer.
It is primarily a web based micro-blog texting system, but as with a lot of things today, you don’t even have to go near the actual Twitter web pages to participate (once you have your membership – which is free).
It is the great leveller of people. There is no special treatment (tweetment?) between users. I rub tweet-shoulders with people all over the World in all sorts of lines of work. Recently I have been tweeting with Robert Llewellyn (Scrap Heap Challenge, Red Dwarf – Kryten etc) – and the beauty of Twitter is that he is on the same level as me – We have the same 140 characters to play with, where age, social standing, profession etc just don’t come into play.
I like this levelling idea, as Robert Llewellyn is quite simply a great guy regardless of what he does, and I think “celebrity stalkers” tend to ruin things for people who just want to chat as equals and not simper to these well known people. I’m sure these public figures feel the same way sometimes – Why can’t people just chat without going all gushy and doe eyed at what they do? Thank goodness for Twitter then – It’s all very calming.
On to the various choices of applications you can use to operate within Twitter. There are flipping hundreds of choices, but the ones I use are generally the ones that are heartily recommended by other users. I have tried many types now, and the following ones are the applications that I have found most user friendly and satisfying to use. All are free, although you can make donations.
For a quick simple Tweet system on my PC I sometimes use “Twitterfox” for the Firefox web browser. It appears as a small pop up window in the bottom right of my screen (much like a messenger chat window). Very simple and easy to use for general tweet following.
The trouble is that you can end up with a cacophony of tweet messages that you are trying to keep up with. By far the best computer application is TweetDeck, as this sorts Tweets out into various categories and is very “tuneable” for each users preferences. When following tweets you will see the application that people have used to post messages – and TweetDeck is one of the most popular systems I have seen being used – and for a good reason.
Now a lot of people use Facebook and don’t want the fuss of having separate applications all over the place -but worry not, as Facebook has a Twitter application on it. I don’t really use it, but it’s a useful little tool to have at hand.
The final application I use is “Twitterfon” – an application for the iPhone. There are lots of iPhone Twitter applications, and I have tried many of them. Twitterfon is the one application for tweeting that I just keep returning to as it is simple, clear and very, very functional. For me, the top two applications are Twitterfon and TweetDeck – they do everything I need from them (at the moment). I am sure many more applications will come about, but for now I am pretty happy in the Twitter world.