We’ve said it before and will no doubt say it again; some people just don’t get Twitter (www.twitter.com). The user database is littered with the abandoned accounts of people who signed up, stared at the little box that says “What are you doing?” for a couple of minutes, then went back to Facebook.
Twitter is what you make it. A beautifully simple idea, it allows you to post 140 word status updates – called ‘tweets’ – to the web. The attraction isn’t so much in the process as the content. Some people literally post everything they’re doing – from breakfast to supper. Others are more selective, making it a great source of instant news, views, tips and ideas when you follow the right folk. The key is in finding and filtering that content.
If anything, the site itself is just too simple – which is why there are so many Twitter clients around. TweetDeck is our current favourite, an Adobe AIR powered tool that enables you to filter other user’s tweets. You can do this in two ways. “Groups” enable you to put people you follow into one or more categories. You might want to set up a group for celebrities, for example, to follow the inane banter of Jonathan Ross or Philip Schofield, or the more urbane musings of Stephen Fry, one of the most followed Tweeters on the site. Another way is to create a search category. This returns all tweets that contain your designated keywords until you close the window. Easy.
TweetDeck transforms Twitter from a tool for following your friends into a fully fledged, searchable content engine. News now breaks on Twitter faster than almost anywhere else. Where email and blogs were once the cutting edge of communication technology, Twitter now takes the crown. And with TweetDeck you can use it to have multi-threaded, real time conversations with friends, family and famous people – or simply watch as the world changes tweet by tweet.