Friday, February 13, 2009

Tweetdeck or Twitterific

I volunteer with our local Habitat for Humanity. Amongst other things, I create their web presence (kept basic on purpose as those seeking help from the organization don't always have access to the fastest internet connections) and help with their IT questions.

One question they asked recently was if I could re-write their web page to include their latest build information. Their current web site is very static by design. The majority of the news changes annually. This build information is what volunteers use to see if they're help is needed on a particular day. Of course I could make this change but I didn't think that was really what they wanted. They asked about creating a blog but again, that wasn't really the solution for the issue they were trying to address.

I asked if they'd heard about Twitter. The office manager has a teenage daughter so she'd heard of it but didn't know what it was. So I showed them and they decided that was what they wanted to use.

But they're stuck using PCs, no Macs, so my beloved Twitterific won't work as an option for them. They could use the web interface of course but that's rather cumbersome. I looked around and saw Tweetdeck was available and had some nice tools. It's also available on the Mac so I tried it on my MacBook.

It's pretty nice. The software runs on Adobe Air so you need to have that installed first but installation was a breeze. It has a few more tools built in that Twitterific is missing (URL reducers, pictures made easy, etc.) so it can be a much more powerful tool. It takes up a little more real estate on m 13" screen but it's not aweful. For the guys at H4H who have big desktop monitors, this will work great. You can also minimize the screen to a single column which also works well on smaller screens.

Tweetdeck definatly gets a nice for free rating but I'll stick with Twitterific on my Macbook. The deciding factors were real estate requirements and I prefer how Twitterific runs in the background. But if I hadn't already paid for Twitterific, I would use this free alternative. I greatly prefer it over Twhirl which, in the end, I found to be quite unyieldly.

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