The Twitter Apps, Tools and Widgets I Use
Categories: geek • social networking • software • utilities
Tags: bit.ly • blu • diggbar • friendfeed • tinyurl creator • tinyurl.com • tweetdeck • tweetie • twhirl • twinkle • twitter • twitter for wordpress • twitter widget pro • twitterific
Desktop Client – Twhirl
I use Twhirl as my desktop twitter application. I looked at TweetDeck but it was overkill and it takes up too much screen real-estate. I tried the gorgeous blu (works only on Vista and Windows 7), but it does not have an adjustable font. The default font is too small for my aging eyes. Twhirl is surprisingly feature rich but it takes awhile to figure out all the intricacies. I’ve tried others, but keep coming back to Thwirl.
iPhone App – Tweetie
Tweetie is terrific. I had previously used Twitterific and Twinkle on the iPhone but Tweetie ($2.99) satisfies me the most. Tweets are presented in bubbles similar to the iPhone’s SMS bubbles. Thankfully, the font is adjustable. Functions and information are an easy swish away. Twitterific does have the advantage of supporting both Twitter and friendfeed.
See also: 29 Twitter Apps for the iPhone Compared (Mashable)
Blog Integration Widget – Twitter Widget
I use Twitter Widget to feed my tweets into the right sidebar of my blogs. Prior to April 2, 2009, I had used Twitter Widget Pro on The Daleisphere and Twitter for WordPress on DaleDietrich.com, my iMedia Law Blog and my Video Game Law Blog (I used two different tools because for some reason Twitter Widget Pro didn’t work on my other blogs after my move to media temple. Thanks to Dave Zatz for his suggestions and inspiration here.
URL Compression Tools
URL compression tools are used to compress URL’s before embedding them in Tweets. There are many to choose from. I rotate between several:
- The TinyURL.com bookmarklet (available here) generates compressed links to the page I’m viewing directly from my Firefox toolbar. One click on the bookmarklet and a TinyURL to that page is added to my PC’s clip board for easy pasting into Twhirl. I probably use this the most.
- Bit.ly has a similar bookmarklet tool accessible from the Firefox toolbar, but using it requires an extra click. It has the advantages of: (i) generating a smaller link (every letter counts on Twitter); and (ii) you can use Bit.ly to track how many people click through the link if you are so inclined – I’ve never been so inclined.
- DiggBar: As of April 2, 2009, simply typing ‘Digg.com/’ in front of any URL in any browser and then press Enter generates a compressed URL that you can copy and paste into your Tweet (See: DiggBar Launches Today! or watch the video below).
DiggBar from Kevin Rose on Vimeo.
Note: Regrettably, this DiggBar approach won’t work on the Daleisphere or any of my sites because long ago I added some special sauce in my headers to prevent my sites from being embedded in an iframe. I did this because some jack@ss was embedding all my posts into an iframe on his site and passing my site off as his own. Because of that my sites are locked out of this cool new tech. Grrrrr! I may revisit my approach to iframe in the future.
- Twhirl has a built in URL compression tool that I find too clumsy to use often. I much prefer how blu compressed URLs on the fly.
- Twitter Toolbox: 70+ Awesome Twitter Apps, Mash-Ups, Plugins and Services
- 29 Twitter Apps for the iPhone Compared
The contents of this post had originally been contained in my ‘Twitter Tips for Beginners’ post. However, I change the Twitter apps, tools and widgets I use so frequently that I decided that a regularly updated post dedicated to the topic would be more useful. As such, I intend to update this post from time to time as my Twitter tools change – and they will change!