One of the things Twitter doesn’t manage well is conversations. You’ve got people replying to your tweets, but who knows which one? And if you’re not directly involved in the conversation, all you see is short, out-of-context remarks that don’t make any sense. For an important and massive conversational tool, Twitter certainly has its drawbacks.
Realizing this, a few great applications have come out of the woodwork to make Twitter into a better way to have and follow a conversation. They thread tweets, track replies, and make sure you can understand the whole dialog, rather than just one small and insignificant part.
Here are three of the best ways to keep conversations under control on Twitter:
Twitoaster is probably the easiest of the bunch to get started with – all you have to do is follow @twitoaster on Twitter. Then, Twitoaster goes to work for you. Every time someone responds to one of your tweets, the conversation is threaded on Twitoaster. You can see the number of replies (a number that’s frequently updated) to a given tweet, as well as see what people said. You can also log in to your Twitter account on Twitoaster, which lets you reply to your replies right from within the conversation.
Twitoaster also offers a couple of cool features – it tracks the number of replies a given account gets, as well as how you rank among Twitoaster users. It’s a full-featured way to track replies, as well as see who’s responding to your tweets.
Tweetree is really two great services in one – it creates conversation threads for replies, and it’s a total overhaul and improvement on the Twitter interface. First, the interface. Tweetree allows you to pull in external content – videos, images, and the like – and experience it directly within Tweetree. It also takes all shortened URLs, and shows where they actually go – a nice touch to avoid RickRolls and the like.
The conversation threading, too, is a great feature of Tweetree. It brings in all conversations you’re a part of on Twitter (even showing the tweets you replied to), and puts them in tree form, nesting the replies throughout the conversation. If you’re getting the “oh, how cool” tweets a lot, or replied about something you can’t remember for the life of you, Tweetree keeps track of it for you. You can do everything in Tweetree you’d want to do in Twitter, and actually a whole lot more.
ThreadedTweets rocks the world of real-time conversation threading. You can sign up for ThreadedTweets without having to give your Twitter password, because it uses Twitter’s OAuth system to authenticate, rather than asking for your password. Once you’re signed in, you’ll get real-time monitoring of all the replies to your tweets, which are threaded into a conversation for you.
ThreadedTweets also keeps a list of Popular conversations, which you can read and view easily. Every conversation has a permalink, which makes it even easier to keep monitored and updated. There’s even an embeddable widget for tracking a conversation on another site – this makes ThreadedTweets both a conversation tool and a real-time search, which is a great combination.
One of Twitter’s best features is its ability to create quick, simple conversations. Twitter itself does a poor job of tracking them and keeping conversations intact, but these four applications do it incredibly well. What’s your favorite way to keep track of your conversations on Twitter?
Oh and make sure to follow MakeUseOf on Twitter as well. We are now going to start using for distributing beta invites to publicly closed websites and giveaway license keys to commercial software (when available).
Explore more about: Twitter.