As some of you may know, I am not a huge fan of Twitter. I only recently joined the Twitter party, and there are things I still find a bit hard to swallow. One of the major things that constantly annoy me is people who, whether knowingly or not, engage in lengthy personal conversations on everyone’s timeline.
True, when someone writes something you have a really good answer to, it’s only logical to write it right away in a mention. But what if this guy, who’s also online, has something to say back? When does it stop being OK and start being spam? With Blether, you won’t have to worry about it anymore.
What Is Blether?
To put it simply, Blether (or !blether) is a Twitter chat, but one that is not visible to people who have nothing at all to do with it. Every time you find yourself getting sucked into a personal Twitter conversation, all you have to do is tweet “!b @yourfriendsname” and a short message.
You’re not limited to one friend only; you can invite several friends to this chat, simply by tweeting all their names one after the other. You don’t have to sign up or even visit the Blether website. You can just head over to Twitter right now and do it.
When you do this, your friends will get mentions from @bellablether, as well as a DM, with the message you wrote and a link to a chatroom.
You will also get a mention with the chatroom link, so you can find the chat you initiated.
The Blether Chat
When you or your friends click the link, you’ll first have to authorize Blether to use your Twitter account. You may have to enter your Twitter username and password again, and it may be already signed in and you’d have to just click the “Authorize app” button.
If you don’t like authorizing third party apps, this is the place to stop. But you’ll be missing out. Once you sign in, you’ll be taken into your chatroom.
Now you can chat with your friends to your heart’s content, without disturbing all those poor people who are following you and your friends on Twitter. This is an in-browser chat; when the chat’s tab is not active, you will hear a small beep every time a new message arrives. The tab’s title will also start blinking.
If you are the one who initiated the chat, you can add new people to it from within the chatroom itself. Click on the “Settings” button next to the chat’s title and choose “Invite people” (currently the only available option). You can then type in a friend’s name and click “Add to contacts”. When you click “Done”, the new person will get an invite on Twitter to join the chat.
You can also create a new chatroom from your Blether dashboard, which you will access automatically every time you go to the Blether website after signing in with your Twitter account. Initiating a chat by tweeting is much easier, but if you still want to, you can add some friends to the list, type in the subject and hit “!blether”. This will send out invitations to the new chat.
From the dashboard, you can also view all your current Blether chats. You can click on any chat to view it and talk to the people in that room. Theoretically, you should be able to filter your chats by title or users, but when I tried it, it only worked with titles. Filtering by users didn’t work, unfortunately.
Blether On Mobile
One of the cool things about Blether is that it doesn’t limit your Twitter chat to your desktop. Being a web app, the service actually works on pretty much any device you can dream of. You can use your favorite Twitter client to tweet the invitation, or click an invitation link in your device when you get one.
You can now chat with your Twitter friends for as long as you want, all from your mobile device. You can also access your Blether dashboard from your device and view all your active chats.
Blether is a truly awesome service that can save you, your friends and your Twitter followers a lot of time, spam and dignity (who likes to be a spammer?). Keep in mind that the service is still in beta, and therefore you may encounter some bugs. My experience with Blether was almost flawless, but betas are betas, and things can always pop up.
Let us know in the comments what your experience with Blether was like, or if you know of similar services we should try.
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