I’ve been using TweetDeck as my desktop Twitter client for a while now and have definitely seen the improvements over the last few months.
The reason I support TweetDeck is the ability to easily group people or subjects you are following. In a post-Track Twitter, this is pretty important for me. TweetDeck has Summize integration, making it possible to “Track” terms via the API.
For example, here’s what TweetDeck looks like on my Mac (it has its own “Space” since it does take up so much screen real estate):
You can see that I have an “All Tweets” group for the 300 or so people I follow then a “Pals” group for the 30 or so people that I’m closest to then a “samharrelson” group that functions as something like Track (anytime someone mentions my name, it shows up there), an “Asheville” group for tracking, a replies tab and then a few more off to the side such as a “Chicago Cubs” group, a “Wofford Group (my alma mater),” etc.
It’s an insanely easier and more productive Twitter experience than relying on the Twitter website or even Twhirl.
Besides the real estate size, one of the big criticisms I’ve heard about TweetDeck is the question of why it takes so long for friends to show up in groups.
The folks behind TweetDeck shed a little light (using a Posterous blog nonetheless… pretty nifty… more on that soon):
Group Friends List – TweetDeck’s posterous: “The list of friends in the add group column grows as more of your friends become active, or to put it another way as TweetDeck becomes aware of who your friends are it adds then to the list.
I’ve done it like this since the twitter API only allows me to get 100 friends at a time so if you have thousands of friends TweetDeck would have to do some looping which could be quite slow but, more importantly, counts against your Twitter API calls. You only need to leave TweetDeck running overnight for the list to grow substantially. “
So, if you’re still using the web interface for Twitter, do yourself a favor and stop. Go grab TweetDeck, set up some trackable terms and group people you follow to tame the madness that is probably your Twitter experience.