Twitter is much more than just ‘chirps’ from one friend to another. It’s now more of a roar as it has penetrated mobile phones, instant messengers, desktops, blogs and websites. It seems now we can Twitter from anywhere to just about anywhere. What finally made me a convert was when I heard that they are even twittering from space (nopes, not the aliens but NASA astronauts!).
Though Twitter is all pervasive, I have found that twittering becomes easier if it’s always in my face and married into the tools I use almost as a habit for my daily web hops.
Mark put in mentions about how to Twitter from some of the popular instant messengers and even from the command line. To further my own user experience, I started looking for ways to say my 140 bytes worth in an uncomplicatedly fast way sans frills from the browsers I use often and almost live in. With the popularity of Twitter, it wasn’t like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Twitter Addons for Firefox
CloudBerry TweetFox for Firefox brings micro-blogging to the browser. This Firefox addon for Twitter lets you tweet excerpts you like from websites with a click of the button and attach a short URL to the source page.
Download and install the Firefox experimental add-on. Restart your browser and add your Twitter username and password through the options dialogue of the add-on: Tools – Add-ons – CloudBerry TweetFox 1.0 – Options.
Select an excerpt from any interesting website and click on the Twitter icon on the toolbar. Tweet the selected text (or any message) from the TweetFox box. Optionally, you can also include the source URL courtesy of the URL shortening service from Chilp.It. Of course, make sure that the entire message is within the 140 character limit of Twitter.
The latter versions expectedly will see support for multiple Twitter accounts and also a feature to send replies.
TwitterBar is a similar add-on which uses the address bar to do the job.
Twitter Addons for Internet Explorer
As above, CloudBerry’s Twitter addon for Internet Explorer does the same job. TweetIE installs as a toolbar in IE. If it is not visible, select View – Toolbars – CloudBerry Twitter plugin. On first use, the plugin asks for your username and password.
Write your own text or select text from any website and click on the Twitter toolbar icon. Your 140 character limited message can now be dispatched with a click.
Twitter Addon for Opera
If it’s add-ons and plug-ins with the last two browsers, then it’s widgets with Opera. More exactly, the Twitter Opera Widget. The widget is light and installs in a jiffy. It can be accessed from the Widgets menu on the toolbar.
After logging in, this is how Twitter addons for Opera looks like –
The little menu on the top gives you access to all your tweets. Posts and updates are almost concurrent. On the minus side, unlike the Twitter tools for IE and Firefox, the Opera widget lacks a URL shortener. But as a simple lightweight Twitter tool, it scores.
Twitter Addons for Chrome
Chrome so far lacks Firefox’s add-on richness or Opera’s widget gallery. Though, Chrome extensions are on fast track development… till then, it’s a little bookmarklet that I must fall back on.
Twitlet is fast and simple. All you have to do is insert your Twitter log-in details to get the bookmarklet. Drag it to your browser’s toolbar and start using it with messages or selected texts. #link or #this can be used to insert the current page’s shortened URL.
Big Tweet is a similar service but it gives better text control over Twitlet. Using the bookmarklet, you can post to Twitter or Friendfeed. With Big Tweet, you can post highlighted text from any webpage with a shortened URL. A significant plus is that it lets you easily insert special characters in your messages for that emotional appeal.
Big Tweet as a bookmarklet also runs with Firefox, IE and Safari.
If I knew that we would be so keen to follow each other’s lives in 140 characters or less, I would have jumped in sooner. Are you are already in the deep end or are you a new believer like me? Either way, you can take a walkthrough of our huge list of posts on things that are Twitter. And of course, don’t forget to comment or tweet on days spent with Twitter.