There hasn't been a single day in the last few months when I haven't heard anything about Twitter. Whether it's the simplicity of the product, various tools built on it's API, the famous and hyperactive twitter users, or the notorious downtimes, twitter hasn't failed to hog the limelight since its launch. In fact it wouldn't be an exaggeration if I said that there isn't a more popular or more simple tool.
Twitter has had it's own share of criticism, primarily due to the downtimes it experienced (and still experiences quite often). This has many calling it an unproductive tool. However it has it's own benefits and hence has a huge fan following. It allows you to interact with many people simultaneously and in the simplest possible manner. So for all those twitter lovers, here are a set of tools which could further enhance your expertise as a twitter user and utilize it effectively. And those who despise twitter, there is no harm in taking a look. You might start loving it :)
Before you read this, I would like to mention that this is not a comprehensive list of all twitter tools (there are hundreds of them) but these are the ones which I found very useful and thought would be good to share. And yes, these are some of the very few twitter apps which actually make sense!
- Desktop apps
The best way to update twitter is through the various desktop apps like Twhirl or AlertThingy for Windows and Twitterific for Mac. They have a nice interface and let you interact with other twitter users easily. However they might fail to update when they cross the limit or twitter has technical problems and you would then need to revert back to the web interface.
One of the main reasons twitter users prefer desktop apps and not it's web interface is because they have to manually refresh it to check the tweets. Twitrefresh provides a solution to that and refreshes the twitter page after every 1 minute. Those who love twitter's web interface will find this tool very useful.
- Firefox extensions
If you are one of those who don't like to leave their browser when they are online, then there are some cool firefox extensions like Twitterfox and Twitbin which work like the desktop apps helping you to update and use twitter from right inside the browser.
If you are getting a blast of tweets from a particular follower then you may want to snooze him/her using TwitterSnooze. For example if you've got a follower who uses Twittytunes to update his twitter status then you could get frequent automated tweets from that person when he is listening to songs. If that gets irritating you can use this tool to snooze tweets from that person.
Twitterfeed is a must use app if you're a blogger and use twitter. It retrieves the RSS feed of the blog and updates the twitter status when you publish a new post on the blog. This could be an additional source of traffic for your blog.
Summize is the best way to search twitter real time for any information. It also has very good advanced search features which let you retrieve results quickly and easily. Here is an article which delves further into some nice tools to search twitter in real time. Note: This tool worked so well, Twitter just bought it.
Twitterfone is a nifty tool which let's you post messages to your twitter account using your voice. It translates your voice into text and posts them. You can use it when you don't feel like using your cellphone's keypad to tweet.
Twittercal, as it says, connects your Twitter account to your Google Calendar account and let's you easily add events from twitter.
Quotably let's you view the twitter conversations as a discussion thread and also allows you to reply to them and participate in the discussion. This can be very useful if you are looking to follow a particular discussion.
Last but not the least, Timer does a very simple but extremely useful thing. It uses twitter to remind you about a task at the time specified so that you don't forget to accomplish it.