Since we’re all foodies here, I have a question for you. If you went to a restaurant and the menu was presented in a “news ticker” style – one long enormous random list that scrolled on endlessly and rapidly – how long would it take you to get frustrated and leave?
And isn’t that how some of you feel now, using Twitter.com? I’ve heard the frustration from many of you and the threats to quit Twitter because it’s too confusing, moves too fast and it’s hard to find what you care about. Kind of like trying to pick a dish off a scrolling menu presenting in random, rapid-fire order, yes?
And that’s my point today. Don’t give up on Twitter – get TweetDeck now!
TweetDeck – like Hootsuite, Seesmic and similar products – is a productivity tool you download to your desktop (free!) that allows you to organize information into categories and topicsso they are more easily found and digested. Just like a restaurant lists its dishes in categories – appetizers, entrees, fish, chicken, dessert, etc – TweetDeck allows you to create easy-to-view columns of information, so you can decide what to look at quickly, and it helps you focus if you have just five minutes to spend. As if…but I digress.
TweetDeck looks like a giant dashboard, with columns that allow you to group your followershowever you like. For example, I’ve created categories such as restaurants, food writers, friends, clients, Edmonds (my town), travel, etc. When I open TweetDeck, I have 8-10 columns listing each of my categories in beautiful order – structure! I can see at a glance what has been going on with my friends, for example, so I don’t have to scroll through the giant one-column mess that you find on Twitter.com. No wonder so many people give up on Twitter, when they are left to watch Tweets scroll by like whitewater rapids – how could you ever find anything?
This efficiency allows you to manage your growing list of followers, so you can actually see what people are saying, in a logical way. Once I have shown TweetDeck to novice users – and some intermediate users too – it’s like a light bulb goes on over their little heads, and they see the power in such an organizational tool.
In addition, there are three other major benefits in TweetDeck, that I simply can’t live without – and they aren’t available on Twitter.com. There is an automatic URL-shortening featurethat allows you to paste a long web address and have it shortened right there in the same window, similar to tiny.url or bit.ly. There’s also an easy way to simply drag a photoright onto the TweetDeck screen so you can attach it to your tweet. And, you can actually edit and/or add a personal message when you are retweetinga Tweet, which is no longer possible on twitter.com. These three features alone are worth the price of TweetDeck…oh wait, it’s FREE! (did I mention that?)
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. When you are hungry for chicken, you want to go right to the poultry section on the menu, and not be bothered with desserts or soups. And thanks to TweetDeck, when you just want to see what your clients are doing, you can get right to it, and save yourself time and mental energy. And that’s worth a lot. Just hop on over to www.tweetdeck.com and download it today…you’re welcome!
NOTE: For those interested, I am teaching an intermediate Twitter class that focuses on TweetDeck and other tools to help productivity. You can view the details at this link