Twitter is an addictive micro-blogging platform that has experienced explosive growth since launching a few years back (my account is here). I’ve come across a few cool Twitter tools in the last few weeks so I figured I’d share.

(1) Twhirl

This is a slick little application that allows you to receive and send tweets from your desktop. This is a powerful tool, but the main things I like about it are:

  • You can manage multiple Twitter account through one interface.
  • The interface allows you to sort your tweets in a variety of ways. I found being able to just view tweets that were direct replies to me a very useful feature, as I was missing a lot of these due to the way I was using Twitter before.
  • It has powerful tools for shortening URLs and adding pictures to your account via TwitPic.
  • Most importantly it is an application that I can open/close whenever I want, so that Twitter doesn’t clutter up my IM windows or phone. It makes Twitter less of a distraction and allows me to get more out of it in less time.

Below is a screenshot of the interface.


(2) Twitpic

As mentioned above, Twitpic is just a simple way to post photos w/ captions to your Twitter account. You can post either from the Twitpic site or using third party tools like Twhirl. The value here is that you can upload and post images you want to share in one motion as opposed to going to a service like Flickr, uploading there and then going back to Twitter to share with folks.

(3) Hashtags

We’ve found Tweetscan is a great tool for searching Twitter for keywords. Hashtags has a novel approach to tackling the challenge of sorting through all the data that is available on Twitter. Basically, Twitter users participate by following the username Hashtags. Once you do this, you can “tag” your tweets by including a hash mark (#) and the topic within the message. So if you wanted to tag that your post is about Macworld, you’d include “#macworld” in the tweet. Hashtags then aggregates all relevant tweets on each tag in one central location. For an example, check out the page for Macworld this past January.

This service hasn’t really taken off yet and may never. But I think the concept has real power, as it provides a way to view all Twitter posts on a specific topic or event.

(4) Tweet Clouds

Tweet Clouds is a slightly pointless tool that creates a tag cloud of the tweets of individual users, so you can see which words you or your friends are using the most in your tweets. Nothing earth shattering, but not a bad way to waste five minutes. You can view a tag cloud for my account here.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.