Many of you have developed a fondness for Twitter, myself included. I’ve found it to be an invaluable tool. I use twitter to keep in touch with friends both near and far, get the latest news and events, broadcast my existence and drive traffic to content that I publish. I find that many people don’t understand Twitter, or how it can be used for your benefit. It is tough to quantify how and why someone should use it, since everyone wants to get something different out of it. All I can say to that is that there is a place in your life for Twitter, and with a little experimentation you will find its benefits.
For this article I want to focus on “Advanced Twitter Techniques and Tools”. Once you’ve become familiar and comfortable with using Twitter, you may want to extend the functionality and get more out of it.
Summize – Summize is quite possibly one of the most useful Twitter application. So useful in fact, Techcrunch is reporting that Twitter may buy Summize. Summize is a search engine for Twitter. Using Summize makes it easier than ever to follow the various conversations taking place. You can even search for any replies you may have missed.
HashTags – HashTags as allow for “group conversations”. Instead of a one way @user message, you can send it out to a group of people by using #group. People then track the hashtag and this allows groups of people to chat about whatever topic is important to them. Think of hashtags as an IRC channel (thats where the idea comes from).
TwitterFeed – This service allows you to post an RSS feed to Twitter. I use it to post my latest photos from my cell phone (uploaded to Vox.com) to Twitter. TwitterFeed gives me the “missing link” I had been looking for, as I can now deliver a “payload” to twitter with more than just 140 characters of text.
Twitpic – A service that allows you to post photos to Twitter. You can use the website directly or use a Twitter Client that has built in support for Twitpic. Better for when you are actually in front of your computer and want to post a photo.
TwitterVision – Not quite that useful, but fun to watch. TwitterVision is a mashup of Twitter and Google Maps that plots tweets by location. Bonus geek points: set Twittervision as your desktop wallpaper with active desktop.
Twitabit – Sometimes Twitter goes down. If that happens and you really need to get that tweet out, you can post it on Twitabit and when Twitter comes back up, your tweet will go out. This service is handy for those that are truly addicted to Twitter.
Twitturly – Another web service for finding out what is popular on Twitter, but this service will search all of the URL’s being posted and tell you what pages are being linked. Another tool for getting the latest news and buzz.