So far I was trying to figure out how best to use Twitter. I tried using it as a platform to share when ever I posted something on techedin or pagedin. There was nothing much I needed to do to post links to my blog updates to Twitter. All that I had to do was to link up my blogs to TwitterFeed and the rest was taken care of by TwitterFeed’s automatic feed pullers. TwitterFeed pulled my posts and tweeted. I thought that was all I could do with Twitter because none of my friends are on Twitter. Even if some of them are there, none of them are regular tweeters.
Yesterday, I figured out what Twitter actually can be. First and foremost, it is not a social network the way we think of social networks. It is actually a content delivery device, integrated into the idea of social networking. Let me explain:
On Orkut and Facebook, I follow friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Once in a while we exchange an online ‘hi’, say that we like what they said or comment on something they said. If you are a blogger like me, you will also post links to your blogs on Facebook. Some may read what you write, some may not. May be, sometimes we follow Pages on Facebook, try and get information about things we are interested in. Sometimes, we join groups and share our ideas. It is all fun and very engaging.
On Twitter, on the other hand, most of us follow news channels. We follow celebrities first before we follow anyone else. We follow profiles who send valuable information on our way. So far, as I was trying to use Twitter as a Social Network, I was only following people. From yesterday, I started following celebrities and news channels and life on Twitter has magically changed since then. I am more closer to what is happening out there than ever before.
However, there was one problem. I was in touch with the world outside only after I logged on to Twitter. I wanted information to come to me. You are right, technology makes us so lazy that we always want the easier way out. I wished there was some device like Yahoo Messenger or GTalk on my Desktop that brought what is happening on Twitter in realtime. Looks like technology has an answer to most of the questions you have. I found out TweetDeck.
TweetDeck is a browser like application that fetches Tweets from Twitter in realtime and brings it to your Desktop. You can also Tweet, Retweet, Follow or do pretty much anything that you do on Twitter with TweetDeck. TweetDeck also gives you an option to link to Facebook and access your wall. Ask me what is the best thing I liked about TweetDeck! Let me tell you, there are four things.
- TweetDeck stays out of my way. I hate it when necessarily unnecessary applications need to remain on the taskbar. That is the reason why I hate playing music using Media Player. I love it when I can leave applications that I am not currently using in the tray and get on with my life. TweetDeck can be reduced to the tray. It stays in the tray and comes back only when you call it.
- TweetDeck updates me in realtime. I tried to figure out how realtime TweetDeck could bring information to me. It takes not even five seconds to bring you a tweet, after it is posted to Twitter, if you have not exceeded the API limit. Now, that is real good realtime. Every time something is tweeted by someone I follow, the TweetDeck brid chirps and notifies me.
- I love the TweetDeck Notification thing. I love the chirping bird, whenever I have a Tweet. More than the bird, I love the fact that I can reply or retweet from the notification box itself. I love it because I don’t have to waste time waiting for the application to open so that I can do what I want.
- I like the idea of onetime log in. It saves a lot of time as I need to log in using TweetDeck only once. Once I log in, TweetDeck brings me everything that happens on Twitter and my Facebook Wall.
Now that I have TweetDeck, Twitter is a more powerful delivery device than it used to be. Every time someone I follow Tweets, I am more informed and more equipped. I now like Twitter simply because it makes information more accessible. I remember someone comparing Twitter to an ever flowing river of information and people stop by once in a while to dip a mug full of information. Now that I have TweetDeck, it is like I am someone who sits on the bank of that river from morning till evening [because I have my laptop or PC switched on from morning till late night] and constantly gain something from the information that flows by.