TweetDeck Makes Twitter Better. Why Aren't You Using It?

So you’re into Twitter, you’re following lots of people, and now suddenly it all seems a bit of a… blur?
The reality is that while you can run even a very large Twitter account on Twitter.com, the site itself is pretty limited. Tweets very quickly fall off of the page, @replies sometimes don’t arrive at all, and basic functions like re-Tweets and direct messages require you to actually type things on the keyboard. What is this: the 90s?
Fear not, my friends, because TweetDeck tackles all of these issues with easy one-click solutions. It also allows you to filter your Twitterfeed in different ways, allowing you to keep track of your favourite Tweeters, as well as yourself.
What Is TweetDeck?

To quote directly from the site itself:

TweetDeck is an Adobe Air desktop application that is currently in public beta. It aims to evolve the existing functionality of Twitter by taking an abundance of information i.e., Twitter feeds, and breaking it down into more manageable bite sized pieces.
TweetDeck enables users to split their main feed (All Tweets) into topic or group specific columns allowing a broader overview of tweets. The default columns can contain All Tweets from your timeline, @replies directed to you and direct messages. The GROUP, SEARCH and REPLIES buttons then allow the user to make up additional columns populated from the live tweet information. Once created these additional columns will automatically update allowing the user to keep track of a twitter threads far easier.

Essentially, TweetDeck makes Twitter a more enjoyable and manageable experience for the user.

What Are The Advantages of Using TweetDeck Over Twitter.com?

  • TweetDeck has one-click access to replies, direct messages and re-Tweets.
  • Comes with built-in link shortening functionality (i.e., TinyURL.com, is.gd, snipurl.com, and so on).
  • Can be configured into specific ‘groups’, each of which will filter a certain part of the Twitterstream (as per your settings). This makes it a lot easier to follow your friends or favourite Tweeters.
  • If you’re working in another program, TweetDeck will run in the background, and notify you when you have new Tweets.
  • Built-in search functionality.
  • Updates continuously while open. No more refreshing the page. (If you leave the software open overnight, it will store all updates.)
  • TweetDeck can be resized to your exact specifications: from a single column to a full-screen multideck (and anything in between).
  • Comes with built-in translation software.

Installing TweetDeck
TweetDeck is available for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.
TweetDeck runs on the Adobe AIR runtime. To use TweetDeck, you will need to install Adobe AIR first.

Once installed, click on the link below to install TweetDeck.

(Version 0.21.5 was the current version as of February 24, 2009. Visit TweetDeck.com to check for the latest installation of the software.)
Configuring TweetDeck
Once you’ve installed the software, login. The application defaults to three columns – All Friends, which is the entire Twitterstream of everybody that you are following (in other words, what you see on Twitter.com), Replies, which is all the @ messages sent directly to your username, and your Direct Messages.
The software is perfectly functional with the default configuration but it’s not ideal. Here is how I set-up my TweetDeck, which works best for me:

As you can see, I have five columns: a group called ‘Interesting People’, the All Friends column, a specific search for ‘sheamus OR @sheamus’, the Replies column, and Direct Messages.
You can add and change columns using the icons at the top-left of the software.
Tweet – This opens up the Tweet box which allows you to send a message to Twitter. TweetDeck will ensure you don’t run over the 140 character mark, turning the box red if you do. Note the button marked ‘Shorten’ below the text box. If you enter a URL in the ‘Shorten URL’ field, and then click ‘Shorten’, TweetDeck will automatically shrink the URL down and insert it directly into the text box (using the URL shrinker of your choice, which you can adjust directly to the left of the ‘Shorten’ button). You also have Twitpic and other functionality here, too.



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