Monday, March 23, 2009

tweetdeck for newbies

After a year of twittering the old-fashioned way, I've recently discovered the joys of TweetDeck, thanks to @TheGirlPie who not only suggested I use it, but kindly sent me an email telling me how. With her permission, I've reprinted the email which I suspect will be helpful to other newbies. My favorite bit is her coinage of "Twitter-proper." As if it's a country. Which I suppose it is. 
There are many tutorials and lists and posts out there, but this advice seems to help people quickly:

Use all 8 columns (groups.)

TD assigns one column each to:
ALL TWEETS (meaning everyone you follow)
REPLIES -- every tweet that begins with @AdBroad
DIRECT MESSAGES -- any message that starts "D AdBroad" (note the space)
Then you can add columns/groups to do your bidding.

Here's how I've set it up:

NOW (those I never want to miss)
[about 5% of those I follow]
BIZ (any tweeters related to my specific industry, and to my city)
[about 15% of those I follow]
BROWSE (random fun people)
[about 30% of those I follow]
BLOG/NEWS/TECH/MRKTNG (for that stuff)
[about 30% of those I follow]
GOOD OTHERS (a bad name, but people I like to chat with)
[about 10% of those I follow]

And about 10% of those I follow -- or maybe more -- don't get sorted because I can dip into their profile and catch their latest when I want to, don't need it fed to me.
Then, and this is important, I have two SEARCH columns/groups.

One is for the two or three tweeters I've got to watch for any mention of their names (since otherwise, they'll only show up in my columns when they are tweeting out.) So if @AdBroad is in my BROWSE group, I'll only see your tweets out, and all mixed in with 60 other people's tweets.

BUT -- if I run a Search in TD for a few favorites: say the search reads: "@AdBroad OR @Ittybiz" then anytime those names are mentioned anywhere in any tweet, they show up in that column. I can meet tweeters who mention you, who tweet to you, and even who talk about you without the "@" in your name.

The second SEARCH column is the same thing, but it's run from the search for my own name (names) so that I have a whole column (and I use them in the order I've listed them) just for my own tweets OUT (so I know what the hells I've said), and can see any mention of my names anywhere in the twitter stream, no matter if I follow that person or not. Once I see them mention me, I check 'em out!

Your SEARCH button is the 4th from the left, up top on the left. The one before it is the GROUPS button. Just make a group, name it, then beside everyone's name in their own tweets, you'll see a [+] -- click that and it'll open a little window of your groups. Just click the name of the group you want to add them to, and voila, instantly less chatter.

First, though, you might want to use Twitter-proper to click on the list of people you're following, click back to the beginning, and start unfollowing those you don't get anything from. Life's too short.

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