Twitter is quickly becoming one of the most used social networks on the planet. People are documenting their jobs and lives, 140 characters at a time. It’s become the norm for bloggers to have Twitter accounts, and nearly anyone with an online presence has a Twitter account
Despite all that though, I continue to dislike the way Twitter works, or used to work. For a long time, you had to go to the website, log in, type your 140, submit it, and then leave. Getting to the update was often longer than the update itself.
That got me looking for faster, simpler ways to update my Twitter status and read others. In my searching, I found a pretty huge number, but narrowed it down to the eight fastest, simplest, and most robust ways to update my Twitter status without ever typing “twitter.com”.
Here they are :
My homepage, in any of the browsers I use, is iGoogle. Especially with the new canvas view, which a lot of people aren’t fans of, I’m able to access Gmail, Reader, the news, and a bunch of other great things all in one place. One of my favorite iGoogle gadgets is BeTwittered, where you can update your status as well as see other people’s updates and replies.
Digsby is my IM client of choice, for a whole bunch of reasons; not the least of those is the fact that I can update and view my Twitter info right from it. By creating a new account under the “Social Networks” menu in “Accounts”, I can update my own status, as well as see others and write and view replies, all from within Digsby.
3. The Twitlet – Post to Twitter Bookmarklet
This one’s probably the simplest of the bunch: Just drag Twitelt bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar, or bookmark it in any way you want. Then, anytime you want to tweet, click the bookmark. It brings up a tiny window asking what you’re doing. Type your 140, and then close the box. It really is that simple.
Even if you don’t have Digsby, you can still update your Twitter status from any IM client, by adding IMified as your friend .You can interact with IMified to do things like add to Google Calendar, your blog, your task list, and yes- Twitter. It’s as easy as sending an IM to either firstname.lastname@example.org or IMified, depending on your instant messaging program.
5. Your cell phone
With a simple text message, you can update your Twitter status. You’ll have to connect your phone to your account, which you can do in the “Settings” menu at the top of your Twitter page. Once you set it up, just send a text message from your phone to 40404, and update away! You can also send a direct message by typing “d whoyou’resendingitto your message”. I use this all the time, because I always have my cell phone on me.
Careful, though- this is an easy way to rack up big texting bills.
There are a ton of desktop applications out there for managing your Twitter account, but Twhirl seems to be the best and most popular. A free download, Twhirl lets you manage your Twitter account as well as several others, like Friendfeed and Seesmic. It offers several other features, which you can see on their website, but it does the basics- reading, writing, and following- really well. Being an Adobe Air app, it works on Windows, Mac and Linux computers.
If you’re a social network heavyweight, Ping.fm ought to be a huge timesaver for you. You can use it from almost anywhere- phones, iPhones, IM, email, and their website, among others.
Ping.fm works with all your social networks, including Twitter, and you can post new stuff to one or all of the networks you choose. If you’ve got multiple micro-blogs, blogs or social networks, Ping.fm’s a great way to go.
This one’s another easy one for someone looking to update Twitter without all the hassle involved. Using an extension called “TwitterBar,” you can tweet just by typing into your Firefox address bar. Instead of pressing enter, you click a green button the extension puts in your address bar, and off to Twitter it goes.
It’s also great for tweeting links- just click the green button, and the address of the page you’re on goes right to Twitter.
This one’s just for people with iPhones and iPod Touches, but it’s worth mentioning. There are several applications for the iPhone and Twitter, but Twitterific is definitely the best. Boot it up, and all your Twitter information is right there, presented in an easy and attractive way. You can tweet pictures and text, mark tweets as favorites and view user information, as well as send and view replies.
Typing your 140 should be the longest part of using Twitter – now, with any of these nine applications, it can be.
Which ones do YOU use? Or do you use one not seen here? Why do you like the one you use? What features make it a keeper?