Twitter clients: Twinbox and Tweetz

Anybody who follows me on twitter will know that @rikhepworth is by no means a prolific tweeter. However, I do follow a number of people around the planet, and in addition to the ubiquitous Tweetie2 on my iPhone, I have found two clients to be useful and reliable.

The first is Tweetz, from Blue Onion Software. This is a great gadget for the Windows 7 desktop (or Vista Sidebar). The UI is simple and extremely usable (I love the way I can scroll the history for older tweets) and it makes posting a breeze.

The second reflects just how much I live by Outlook and the resulting ability to search and collate unread mails, blog posts and now tweets. Twinbox from TechHit allows you to tweet directly from Outlook and incoming tweets are collated by sender. No integration with the Office 2010 fluent UI but the add-in works, and there is a 64-bit version available as well.

Joining in the background noise: I am now on Twitter

One of the reasons I enjoy conferences like @media is that I can be persuaded to change my mind on things. After a persuasive argument from Nick I’ve decided to alter my stance on twitter and give it a go for a while.

A few others recently have suggested that I should sign up to the microblogging system even if I didn’t plan to use it, just to make sure I got the nickname I wanted and nobody else could use it. I’ve never really bought into that kind of approach, and sometimes I wonder if that is as key an indicator as to the lack of importance I have personally come to place in social networking tools. I’m old enough that my first instinct if I want to socialise is to pick up the phone and arrange a pint with a mate.

At significant part of that change in stance is due to a realisation that twitter provides an intriguing way for me to keep in touch with people like Nick in a way which doesn’t demand a response in the way that IM certainly does and email ought to. Twitter simply gives a commentary on Nick’s life as he decides to tell it and I can respond if I want to.

Exactly what I will tweet, I don’t know. Inanity in all it’s forms frustrates me, so I won’t be keying in anything that pops into my head at any time. However, there’s no point deciding to try something and not then using it. That means I’m likely to post either useful nuggets about the technologies I deal with, or my thoughts on bigger issues.

A timely example of this came overnight with the domination of the news by the death of Michael Jackson. Twitter was being used this morning as an interesting barometer of the public response to the news: 15% of all tweets since the news have been about Jackson’s death. Apparently the previous high for a major event was 5%. I find that interesting from two angles: Firstly, that the twittering masses take such an interest in the event and more interestingly how the data is presented as an indicator of general interest.

In an effort to put some heart into my use of twitter I also downloaded a trial of Twikini. My first impressions are favorable, and I’ may well post more on that later.

For now, if you want to find me on twitter, look for @rikhepworth and my usual cartoon head and shoulders mugshot.