I’m a big Twitter fan. In the past, I’ve even figured out 9 ways to use Twitter without a browser. For anyone who wants to make the most out of Twitter, one of the most important things to do is find an application that works for you.
The Twitter website is rapidly improving, but there are other applications, both Web-based and desktop-based, that come with more features, more usability, and more fun.
TweetDeck is definitely the most popular of these apps, and it’s the one that I’ve bee using for a long time. But not anymore – I’ve officially, once and for all, switched over to Seesmic Desktop. It’s a new product from Seesmic (a company that used to be known for its social video network) that is taking the Twitter world by storm.
Seesmic Desktop is a small application that runs on Adobe AIR, the ever-popular runtime environment for apps that could, and often are, Web apps converted to run more conveniently and powerfully on your desktop. It can manage multiple Twitter accounts, plus your Facebook account, all seamlessly within the same window.
Seesmic Desktop, at first glance, looks a lot like TweetDeck (or any of a number of other apps) – it’s got a bunch of columns with all your tweets in them. On the left side of the window is your navigation – one click opens up your Direct Messages, or your Replies, or even the tweets you’ve sent recently. Having these separated makes it easier to find everything directed at you, instead of weeding through the masses of tweets.
Nothing unique so far, but now it gets interesting. Seesmic Desktop lets you create “Userlists,” groups into which you can put various people on Twitter. For instance, I’ve got a “Personal Contacts” list that’s all the people I know personally, and their tweets all get filtered into their own column.
That way, instead of having to go through my whole timeline to find the people I’m interested in, I can sort them into their own space. The number of groups you can have is limited only by your imagination (and attention span). Setting up these lists takes a little time, as you have to do it manually, but they all get saved, and can be accessed or edited at any time.
There’s also a section for saving searches, if you want to track a particular phrase or topic. Every time someone tweets and matches your search, it shows up whether you’re following them or not. Searches can be overwhelming, but they’re a great way to track what’s happening on Twitter.
Seesmic Desktop, feature-wise, is a lot like TweetDeck. TweetDeck without the crashes, the massive resource hog, and with better multi-account management and tons of customization, gets pretty close to Seesmic.
But recently, Seesmic Desktop stopped being just Seesmic Desktop, with a Web-based version released. Now, you can get all the great columns and interface points of Seesmic, but on the Web, wherever you have an Internet connection. Even if you don’t have the desktop version, simply logging in to Seesmic through your Twitter account lets you immediately take advantage of the better application.
There’s also an iPhone app coming soon from Seesmic, which will do even more to make your Twitter information and contacts ubiquitously available, all through one application. There’s also the promise of a way to take pictures and videos straight from your webcam, and immediately upload them to the Twitter-sharing service of your choice.
Seesmic Desktop is already the best Twitter app I’ve ever used, and it seems to get better and better every week. If you’re following a lot of people, being followed a lot, and want to make the most of life as a Twitter power-user, make the switch to Seesmic. You’ll be glad you did.
What’s your Twitter app of choice?