TweetDeck makes Twitter Easy-to-Use & Hella Awesome

For anyone that has tried Twitter and doesn't really understand it, I usually recommend they try using TweetDeck before they give-up on the social media platform altogether. What is TweetDeck and why would you use it? Basically the best way to describe TweetDeck is it's a Twitter app that makes organizing and managing Tweets a lot easier and more fun to use. At least that is my opinion about it.

tweetdeckTweetDeck has a lot of features that Twitter natively doesn't have. For starters you can see and sort different columns for your timeline showing your latest Tweets from people you follow, interactions with others, direct messages, Twitter trends, and more. For those that haven't used TweetDeck you might be saying, “Can't you do that in Twitter?” Actually no, not really since with Twitter you can only view certain parts of your profile one-at-a-time whether it be on a mobile device on desktop. With TweetDeck you can see it all in one place simultaneously without having to click to go anywhere. It makes managing your social media profile a whole lot easier and saves a lot of time.

This idea was so simple but brilliant Twitter actually acquired TweetDeck several years ago. The creators of TweetDeck actually figured out a better way to handle and manage Twitter, than the Twitter themselves.

In addition with TweetDeck you can control several different Twitter accounts all in the same dashboard. If you are a Twitter power user with several accounts for different sites you run, this comes in handy. This allows you to not have to sign-in and then sign-out out for all your seperate Twitter accounts. Several small business owners use TweetDeck for keeping track with their personal and business accounts. I've also seen people with 10 or more accounts in 1 TweetDeck about but that gets a little bit crazy.

Using multiple accounts in TweetDeck comes in real handy in many situations though. Let's say you just got a funny fortune cookie you want to share with your followers. With TweetDeck you can send out the same Tweet to several different accounts at the same time.

If you'd rather the funny fortune cookie Tweet go out in a few hours, when you know more of your followers will be on Twitter, you can easily schedule Tweets to go out in the future. If needed you can schedule Tweets to post tomorrow, into next week or even next month. Scheduling Tweets is a good idea if you want to constantly connect with a Twitter fanbase but you know you can't be there 24/7. Twitter has no scheduling function you can use.

Another thing TweetDeck has over Twitter is the ability to easily filter Tweets. You can choose to only see Tweets with the hashtag “#awesome” and only see images with that particular hashtag. Sounds #awesome right? The filtering capabilities of TweetDeck are also useful for participating in a Twitter Chat, which is like an online forum chat on Twitter centered around a specific topic. If there are several Twitter Chats happening at the same time TweetDeck is useful for following both. Of course that can get a little confusing if are not prepared for it.

TweetDeck also makes creating Twitter lists a lot easier and more usable. Another nice feature they introduced a few days ago is custom timelines. I haven't used it too much but see the benefits.

I should emphasize the best part thing about TweetDeck, it's Free.  While you might have already assumed that a lot of social media management tools are not and based off of Freemium models.  (Meaning you can use it for free but extra features you need to pay for.)  I've tried a lot of them and honestly don't like them.  It's hard to integrate capabilities of several social networks that have their own idiosyncrasies into a single social dashboard.   For using Twitter and managing multiple profiles, I don't know what else you would use besides TweetDeck.

If you are interested in trying out TweetDeck I recommend you visit the website and sign-up for an account.

You can use TweetDeck with a Twitter browser app or use the service at this URL.  I wish TweetDeck Mobile Apps were still available but Twitter shutdown the apps earlier this year though.  Another thing that kinda of annoys me is that you used to be able push out Tweets from TweetDeck to Facebook.  I guess since Facebook is Twitter's main rival they realized that didn't make sense.

I hope you found my article useful if you haven't used or heard of TweetDeck before. If you have questions about using it please leave them below and I will try to answers them as best I can.  I should let people know I am not social media guru or anything. If you are a TweetDeck user I'd be happy to hear tips, tricks, and what you find useful about it.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada… if you can!

Twitter IPO a Success, Should you Invest?

twitter ipoThe big social media and financial news this week was the Twitter IPO (Initial Public Offering) which seems to have been quite a success for the social networking service.

Twitter started trading shares to the public on Thursday (November 7th, 2013) and opened at $45.13 per share.  This was a 73% gain from the $26 per share that was offered to insiders and existing shareholders on Wednesday, the day before the IPO.  Early reports projected TWTR, the stock ticker symbol Twitter is listed under, to list around $35.

Twitter shares reached a high of trading at $50.09 during the Thursday, the first day of trading.  However, on Friday the shares slipped back down to under $45 and as of this writing the stock current sit at $41.65 per TWTR share.

Even if the shares pulled back Friday the Twitter IPO gave the social media company a huge boost in it's market capitalization.  How much?  About $25 billion along with the surging stock of course this fluctuates with the stock price.  It currently sits at under $20 billion.  This still means Twitter has a bigger valuation than a lot of S&P500 companies. The real question, is that a fair valuation for Twitter?

By all accounts Twitter is a poster child for a successful technology and social media company.  Twitter has roughly 100 million active users each day and over 230+ million accounts.  (Probably about 10%-15% of those accounts are bots though.)   Users create 500 million Tweets each day sharing thoughts to the world in 140 characters or less.

twitter iphone

Twitter's numbers are quite impressive but the microblogging service has yet to find a great way to make, you know… money.  Currently the best way Twitter is pulling in cash is Promoted Tweets and Trends.  Companies can pay to show Tweets to users they believe will find them of value and try to promote a hashtag trend they want to get noticed.  The company has also toyed with different ways to make money but a lot of those are not worth mentioning.  The Twitter IPO helped raise cash too.

Everyone it seems uses Twitter from journalists, celebrities, athletes, politicians, etc.  Warren Buffet even has a Twitter account but he doesn't actively Tweet.  Still Twitter is seen as an important tool in the web 2.0 world.

It should be noted that TWTR listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and not the NASDAQ which is where most tech and social media companies are listed.  Does that means the executives and founders of Twitter view it differently?

Whatever Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey think they are probably pretty happy since they added a significant amount to their personal wealth.  It should be noted these two and did not offer any of their shares for sale.  None of the banks underwriting the IPO Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase, decided to sell shares as well.

The general belief seems to be even if Twitter is not making money now, they will figure it out eventually.  A lot of people are still joining and starting to use the service and a majority of users use the social network on smartphones.  Twitter still could lose ground and users just like Facebook is experiencing now.  Remember my article asking “Is Facebook for Old People Now?”  Could the same thing happen to Twitter?

I was annoyed that they stopped support of TweetDeck Mobile apps and I haven't been happy with other decisions Twitter has made.  Overall they've done a good job of making the Twitter API easy for developers to build on and make 3rd party Twitter clients and applications which has helped fuel growth.

Liking a social media service is different than investing in it though.  Would you invest in Twitter with your personal money?  Do you believe the Twitter IPO was successful?  Do you think you would wait until the TWTR comes down?  What do you see in Twitter's future?

Not Using Social Media is Hard

not using social media

The other day I decided that I needed to try to put some of my social media use on hold for awhile.  The reason is I have several web projects I need to work on and it is quite time consuming to have to monitor social networks across many different platforms.  Not using social media at all though… well it's quite hard to do.

First I started with LinkedIn and wanted to see if I could deactivate my account for awhile.   Technically you can't deactivate an account but you can set your account so that nobody can see it.  This is basically the same thing as deactivating your account I guess since what good is a social media profile nobody can see?  Anyway after I did that I moved onto Twitter.

Weighing the options of temporarily deactivating my Twitter account I realized it probably wasn't possible for me to actually stop using Twitter.  I have auto posting setup for @AdamYamada and some other accounts which is kinda nice.  Besides like LinkedIn it seems the only way to deactivate an account is to just set your profile to private.  Of course the big difference here is that anyone that is following you can still see your Tweets and profile information.  Sooo for now my Twitter accounts are intact but at least I uninstalled TweetDeck from Google Chrome.  While TweetDeck is a great social media tool it can be hard to manage the Twitterverse.

Then I moved onto Facebook the biggest and baddest social networks around.  Facebook at least has the option to keep your information intact but deactivate your account temporarily.  It's nice keeping up with all your friends but let's be honest… Facebook is a blackhole.  It sucks away all your productive time and you can never really get that time back.

I thought deactivating my Facebook account would be easy… ahhh I was wrong.  I have several apps connected to my personal account and no other contributors.  You can't deactivate the account and keep the Apps active without switching having an Administrator for the Apps that has a verified account.   That means to deactivate the account I might need to get a prepaid phone to use with a dummy account or just ask someone to transfer use the apps.

Then came all the social bookmarking sites I have used.  Damn, I've used a lot and a lot of them I never really understood or generated much traffic for me.  This includes Reddit, Delicious, Tumblr, and more.  Is it even worth time to delete those accounts?

So my goal of not using social media was a bit harder than I imagined it would be.  It is all to easy to sign-up for these services but all too hard to truly leave.  It is not in the best interest of the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. if you stop using their services.

Even though all these social networks can be quite useful used in the right way a lot of people try to contact me through it instead of just sending me an email.  I am just not really a fan of that as it takes a whole lot of time for me to direct message rather than just use my email.  I guess that's old school but hey, I still get emails from Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Bottom line not using social media at all nowadays is damn hard these days.  I wish it was possible to click a few buttons to just take a break but that ain't possible my friends.

Have a similar story of trying to disconnect temporarily or permanently from social networking?  Please share your story in the comments below.  I'd be curios to hear stories and I know others would as well.

Twitter will stop support of TweetDeck Mobile Apps

tweetdeckA few days ago on TweetDeck's official blog on Posterous, Twitter surprised the Social Media universe or more specifically the “Twitterverse.”  Twitter announced that they will be ending support for TweetDeck mobile apps for Android smartphones and the iPhone.  Also Twitter will not be supporting the desktop version of the Twitter application anymore known as TweetDeck AIR (it runs on the Adobe AIR platform.)

Here is what Twitter said on the Posterous blog post that was posted on March 4th, 2013.

TweetDeck is the most powerful Twitter tool for tracking real-time conversations. Its flexibility and customizable layout let you keep up with what’s happening on Twitter, across multiple topics and accounts, in real time. To continue to offer a great product that addresses your unique needs, we’re going to focus our development efforts on our modern, web-based versions of TweetDeck. To that end, we are discontinuing support for our older apps: TweetDeck AIR, TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone. They will be removed from their respective app stores in early May and will stop functioning shortly thereafter. We’ll also discontinue support for our Facebook integration.

TweetDeck mobile apps makes it easy and convenient for people with multiple Twitter accounts to control them all from the same application   I have been using TweetDeck on my Android smartphone to handle my personal Twitter account @AdamYamada and the one for Cody and Sierra, my two singing dogs, @DogsSing.  Even a couple of other Twitter accounts are on there and I used it often to send Tweets to Facebook pages or just update Facebook pages.

I am bit annoyed that Twitter has decided to pull the plug on TweetDeck for Android and TweetDeck for iPhone.  It has over 1 million downloads which is a pretty sizable user-base in my opinion.  The reason Twitter probably decided to pull the plug on TweetDeck for smartphones is that the majority of people are using Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android apps instead.  Unlike me they do not have a need have multiple accounts they need or want to control from the same app.

I am also annoyed Twitter will not support Facebook integration but I understand since that is technically their biggest competitor in the Social Media world.  I guess Twitter has made a calculated move to try to push more people to stay on their platform.

Ending support for the desktop version does make sense though.  Over the past couple of months I have migrated to using the TweetDeck Chrome app which is convenient, fast, and easy to use.  I bet from a developer standpoint it is easier to run TweetDeck in the cloud.  From the blog post it seems like Twitter's data probably reflects that.

In many ways, doubling down on the TweetDeck web experience and discontinuing our app support is a reflection of where our TweetDeck power-users are going.

What does not make sense is that Twitter decided to post the news on a Posterous blog.  Why?  Twitter acquired Posterous awhile ago and will be shutting down Posterous on April 30th, 2013.  You can read Sachin Agarwal's, the Founder and CEO of Posterous, blog post about it.  (If you have a Posterous blog you should go backup your data immediately if you want it.  You can transfer it to WordPress or Tumblr blog.)  Twitter it seems want all the focus to be on developing Twitter and the buyout was probably what is known as an “acquihire.”  These acquihires by big tech companies are usually just to get the talent from the company they are buying out and not necessarily for the technology itself.

If anyone would like to suggest a good TweetDeck replacement, please leave a comment and suggest one.  I most likely will be trying out different Twitter apps that can handle multiple accounts over the next month or two.  I will keep people updated with what I do and don't like.

If you are a TweetDeck user and as unhappy as I am, let me know how you feel.  I would be interested to hear from others.