If your Twitter experience has been a little hum-drum recently, check out these tools to help you make the most out of the biggest microblog network out there!
One of the most effective ways of quickly gauging the quality of someone you discover on Twitter (maybe you got a notice that they were following you, for instance), is their follower count. Now almost every account grows its followers over time, so the ratio of following to followers can be a nice metric. Michael Klier of Splitbrain created a really neat script for Greasemonkey that displays the ratio above each profile you visit.
There is a scale to determine just how good each user is in terms of their “crowdsourced” quality. If a user is following a lot of other users and has very few followers, the label at the top will tell you that they are a spammer. If the converse is true, they are a “twittercaster.” You can use the script to set goals for yourself or simply add a little more information to the profiles of those you are following.
Twuffer – The Twitter Buffer
Sometimes you’re sitting at your computer and think “Man, I need to send some tweets out today, but this is the only time I’ll be at the terminal.” Well if you don’t want to spam out your entire day’s tweets in a single burst, try Twuffer. Twuffer provides a kind of buffer for your tweets so you can spread out your updates.
Also, it can be programmed to send out tweets hourly, weekly, or on any date in the future. The interface is slick and Ajaxy so it’s a nice user experience. It stores your personal preferences in a cookie (I believe), so keep that in mind. You will be asked for your password, by the way, so if that freaks you out, Twuffer might not be the one for you. It is required for the API though, so it’s not their fault.
I love how one of the suggested uses is “appear to never sleep.”
I really like iTweet. Talk about slick interfaces, this Twitter rehash has it ALL. The standard tweeting functions are all there, but they are based on an Ajax system so everything flows smooth as silk. Links and @replies are linkified, but so are hash codes, for easy searching. In fact, the search feature is very well done. It doesn’t even require a page-load. Retweeting, favoriting, and @replying all have their own buttons. Another nice feature is a feed of all your followers, so you can catch up with some of the people you may not want to follow full-time.
One word of caution. Each time you “do” something on iTweet, the server has to call Twitter’s servers and it uses up one of your API requests. There is a handy counter on the front panel to keep track, but you’ll be amazed how a little bit of hardcore twittering will use up all your calls. Don’t worry too much though, they reset at a regular interval (every 30 minutes at the moment).
With the advent of URL shorteners like TinyURL, a lot of links are obscured in Twitter until you click them. This unique service seeks to alleviate some of the irritation shortened URLs cause.
Simply enter any user’s name onto the end of this address (my own address, “loyaleagle,” is a placeholder and a preview) and you’ll see a reworked list of everything they have EVER linked to. The page layout is superb and there each link’s title has been retrieved from the page it goes to.
You can also see which links have got a lot of attention recently and who linked to them. It’s almost (dare I say it?) the Digg of Twitter! I mean there is an obvous social bookmarking aspect to it, you can tweet any link with the click of a button, and each link has a very comprehensive history of it’s use throughout the entire history of Twitter. Don’t underestimate this one!
This last webapp is a new one to me. I stuck it on here because it has a nice, clean interface (in fact this whole list faired pretty well in that respect) and a simple function.
Mr. Tweet is a Twitter bot that follows you after you follow it. Once you do so, it begins to analyze your history and followers. Once it is ready, it messages you. Mr. Tweet offers up a list of people in your extended network that you might consider following as well as people who are following you that deserve a second look (assuming you gave them a first one).
What I really like about Mr. Tweet is the added data about each user. It shows not only their follower count and such, but also if they are likely to reply to non-followers and if they typically follow people who follow them. When you are trying to grow your account, these are excellent statistics to know. Better yet, Mr. Tweet will show you quite a few posts from their feed so that you can preview their content without having to click through (which can become quite tedious). Try it out and if it doesn’t do much for you, unfollow and you’re done with it. So simple!
There are so many new Twitter applications popping up every day, it can be hard to keep on top of them. Recently we’ve got a few people saying we talk about Twitter apps too much. If you like lists like this one, let us know (in the comments)! We’ll probably be scaling them back a bit otherwise. We really do listen to you guys, we swear.