I <3 TweetDeck
One of the best things about Twitter is the powerful interface (API) that allows third party applications to be developed, Since it was introduced in October, 2006, hundreds of Twitter apps, hacks & mashups have been built to extend the product’s functionality.
I have been a regular Twitter user since early 2007 and currently follow close to 800 people, which isn’t that large compared to some other Twitter friends. The big problem for me (and why I don’t follow more people), is that with that much inbound traffic in my Twitter stream, I can easily miss tweets that I would want to see. It reminds me of that classic scene from I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ethel are have a job wrapping chocolates.
I’ve been thinking that the answer to this problem would be an application which lets me filter my Twitter stream into manageable groups. I could have one group for “Local People”, one for “Thought Leaders”, one for “Friends in Australia”; you get the idea. I even started talking to some local developers about building an app like this.
As it turns out, I was not alone thinking stream filters would be a great idea. Yesterday, I learned about a new Adobe AIR app called TweetDeck that features full integration with Summize, and lets you (wait for it……) create customized groups of those you follow on Twitter.
Authored by Iain Dodsworth, TweetDeck is one of the most useful Twitter apps I’ve seen to date.
It offers four major columns in which to organize Twitter data: “All Tweets”, which is your “with friends” timeline, “Replies”, “Search”, which will keep a running search window open for a term you’ve selected, and “Group”, which lets you make a sub-set of those you follow on Twitter. You can have multiple groups.
The other interesting departure in this app is that it maintains a local database on your computer, so if you wake up in the morning and Twitter is down (a real possibility), you could still look at and reply to tweets “offline”. TweetDeck stores you offline tweets and submits them to Twitter once the FailWhale goes away. Now that’s a useful feature and a great workaround for the API limitation that prevents other external clients from seeing older tweets.
TweetDecks is still very much “in Beta” and likely to have a few issues of its own, but the feature set makes it well worth checking out.