Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tweetdeck versus Twhirl

Twitter has become one of my biggest resources for my personal learning network and I find that I check it multiple times a day-sometimes multiple times a minute, so I figured it was probably time to look for an easier way of keeping up with the latest tweets. I was given the recommendation to look at Tweetdeck and Twhirl.

My first impression of Tweetdeck wasn't good. I found it a little more difficult to use, but if you want all the bells and whistles or have a complex listing of tweets, this might be the way to go. Tweetdeck has 3 columns ( you can add up to 10 I believe), one for your full listing of tweets, one for your @ replies and one for your DM's. Personally, I wanted one column and found that there is a way to reduce it down to just one listing of tweets.
I did like the color customization with tweetdeck-it allowed me to make the window my school colors, which was fun. I also liked the alert sound when a new tweet came in. We all know that colors and sounds are very important, right? One small problem I found is after I shut down my computer for the day and returned the next morning, I couldn't get tweetdeck to reopen in a small window. I'm not sure why-I'm assuming maybe I did something wrong, but I still haven't been able to open back up without it taking up my entire screen.

Tweeting was easy with tweetdeck, but it did take me a second to figure out that sending a direct message or @reply had to be done by holding my mouse over the picture of a person. One neat feature I did like was that urls could be easily shortened with a click of a button into a tinyurl. Always nice when you have limited characters.

After the problem I had with tweetdeck, I was ready to download Twhirl. It seemed to me that the install process with twhirl was a lot faster. It was up and running in less than a minute.
My first impression was good. It had the small "chat size" window I was looking for and it was kind of cute. There aren't as many color options with twhirl, but that's not really the point here, so I didn't focus on that. I was able to easily switch between dms, @replies and my listing of tweets via small buttons at the bottom of the window.

One of the first things I looked for was the shortened url option I had liked so much in tweetdeck and twhirl did have it! Found tweeting to be very easy and also noticed with twhirl that when you do an @reply, it places the picture of both you and the person you're replying to next to the tweet.

In the end, I picked twhirl. I am more simplistic in my needs for a tool like this and twhirl had all I needed in an easy to use, small window. I can see that if I had a lot more followers or followed a lot more people, tweetdeck would be a good option as I could see everything in one area. I might also be more interested in tweetdeck if I wanted to see facebook status updates as it has an option to integrate those as well.

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