5 Reasons I Love TweetDeck

Monday, November 10, 2008 4:19 PM by Michael Paladino

I have used Twitter now for a few months and have really enjoyed the experience.  If you don't know what Twitter is, check out the wikipedia entry or this short YouTube video for more information before reading the rest of this post.  During the time I've used Twitter, I've tried quite a few clients including Twhirl, Digsby, and Witty, but my favorite by far has been TweetDeck.  I've mentioned to others how much I've enjoyed using it so often that I thought I'd go ahead and write a blog post about it.

Below, I've listed the top 5 reasons I love TweetDeck with an explanation of each.  Enjoy!

  1. Groups

    Of the Twitter clients I've seen, TweetDeck is the only one with the concept of "Groups".  I follow over 100 people, some of whom are friends I've actually met in person, and others whom I may not personally know but "tweet" about things that I'm interested in.  I don't mind missing tweets from those in the latter group, but I like to monitor those of my personal friends more closely.  With the concept of groups, TweetDeck allows me to setup a group (I call it "Personal Friends") and choose the people whom I choose to keep up with the most.  Then I can more closely monitor that group while paying less attention to the "All Tweets" group.

    Click image to enlarge
    TweetDeck - Groups


  2. Local Search
        
    Any tweets downloaded by TweetDeck within the last 48 hours get cached locally.  TweetDeck offers a "Local" search that allows you to search through those cached tweets.  This comes in handy if I remember someone tweeting about something but can't remember who or when.

    Click image to enlarge
    TweetDeck - Local Search

     
  3. Global Search - Topics of Interest - Long Term

    TweetDeck also has a "Global" search that will create a column of all tweets matching the typed-in search term.  It will update every time the rest of your tweets update.  This feature allows me to track tweets on topics that I am deeply interested in.  For example, I have global searches for SubSonic and INETA to keep up with anything that is being said about those topics.

    Click image to enlarge
    TweetDeck - Global Search


  4. Global Search - Topics of Interest - Short Term
        
    I also use the global search feature to track certain events like conferences.  For example during Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC), I had a global search setup for "PDC" that allowed me to keep up with what folks were talking about surrounding that event.  Once the event is over, I delete that search.

    Click image to enlarge
    TweetDeck - Remove Global Search


  5. Global Search - My Twitter Name

    Finally, one of the issues that bugged me prior to TweetDeck was that I had a hard time seeing my own tweets and replies in context.  I might see a reply that I sent to a tweet from a couple of hours before, but that tweet might be way down the list and difficult to find.  With TweetDeck, I've created a global search of my twitter name (mpaladino).  TweetDeck then creates a column showing all of my tweets as well as any replies directed at me.  This really makes it easier to see the context of an entire conversation.

    Click image to enlarge
    TweetDeck - Global Search on Twitter ID


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Screencast - SQL Examiner Suite 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008 4:10 PM by Michael Paladino

Monday, October 6, I'll be presenting a brief demo of SQL Examiner Suite 2008 at the monthly Fort Smith .NET User Group meeting prior to the main presentation by Scott Cate.  I went ahead and recorded a screencast of that presentation for anyone who might be interested.

SQL Examiner Suite consists of a couple of tools, SQL Examiner and SQL Data Examiner, that allow the user to compare and synchronize database schemas and data.  It's a tool that I use on a regular basis and have found to be invaluable in my software development. 

As a disclaimer, the makers of SQL Examiner Suite, TulaSoft, are one of the sponsors of the Fort Smith .NET User Group, and I am using a free copy that I won at one of the meetings.  However, it was my decision to make this presentation to the group and to create this screencast and neither were in any way solicited by TulaSoft.

WMV | Zune

Book Review: The Rational Guide to Building Technical User Communities

Thursday, March 13, 2008 9:00 AM by Michael Paladino

The Rational Guide to Building Technical User Communities4 out of 5 stars

The Rational Guide to Building Technical User Communities does a good job of covering a variety of topics related to starting and maintaining technical user communities. The author's opinions come from years of working with user groups in various capacities, and all his opinions are backed up with stories from his own experiences. His ideas seem to be mostly common sense, but it is helpful to have all the information aggregated in one location.

The book is easy to read and is a good length. I found the discussion of recruiting volunteers to be very helpful. The one point on which I disagree with the author is his opinion that meetings should always have two topics. I certainly don't have the experience that the author has, but I have found that there is just not enough time to allow for disussion, handle group business and giveaways, and cover two topics in a reasonable amount of time.

Overall, I was very pleased with the book and will be passing it around to the rest of the leadership of our user group.

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