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Keep Track of Your Multiple Twitter Friends With TweetDeck

Categorize and Sync Your Twitter Pals with TweetDeck

TweetDeck


What it does: TweetDeck is a client for the burgeoning micro-blogging / social networking service, Twitter. In addition to basic functions like updating your status and delivering your friends' Tweets, the app offers a host of advanced features that make it the client of choice among the seriously Twitter addicted.

What we like about it: For one, TweetDeck works on almost any machine. Since it runs on Adobe Air (which you'll have to download here first), you can install it on Macs, Windows PCs, and Linux boxes with equal ease. There is even an iPhone version. Bonus: TweetDeck recently added the ability to sync preferences across all installations, so there is no need to tweak settings every time you install it on a new computer, or on an iPhone.


The biggest boon for power users is the 'groups' functionality, which lets you split up the people you follow into different columns -- such as "friends," "celebrities," and "news" -- for easier reading. When you follow, say over 100 people or organizations, grouping divides that "river-of-news" view into navigable channels. You can even set up columns with constantly updated searches for specific topics like "iranelection" or "Google." These groups are also synced across your copies of TweetDeck, though you have the choice to sync only certain ones, if you wish.

TweetDeck also integrates with all the services that have sprung up around Twitter, such as TwitPic, TinyURL (among other URL shorteners), StockTwits, 12seconds, and Twitscoop. You can also use TweetDeck to update your Facebook status (only on the desktop version, though) or to manage multiple Twitter accounts. About all it can't do is write Tweets for you.

What we don't like: Creating a group in TweetDeck isn't as easy as it should be. Sure adding the 'group' column is simple, but the list of users to select from contains only names -- no images or bio to help you decide who belongs in which group. There is also no quick-and-simple way to search for users on TweetDeck. You can perform a Twitter search for a name or a topic, and browse users that way. But there you can't, say, enter an e-mail address to see if that person is on Twitter.

TweetDeck might be a bit much if you're only a casual Twitter user. It's fairly resource intensive, often chewing up nearly as much memory as Firefox with a couple of tabs open. If you follow 50 or fewer people, you could probably survive with one of TweetDeck's lighter-weight competitors, like Twhirl, or even just use the Web interface.

TweetDeck might be a bit much if you're only casual Twitter user. It's fairly resource intensive, often chewing up almost as much memory as with a couple of tabs open. If you follow only 50 or fewer people, then you could probably survive with one of its lighter-weight competitors like or even just use the Twitter .

Bottom line: If you follow a lot of people and are obsessed with Twitter, there is no better client for you. TweetDeck turns what would otherwise be a constant, cacophonous blast of 140-character chatter into an easy read of categorized updates. It's especially good for anyone who tweets from several PCs and an iPhone.

Download TweetDeck here.

TweetDeck

Tags: features, microblogging, switched download, switcheddownload, tweetdeck, twitter

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