Category Archives: twitter

No Surprise Here

I wonder where I lost 7%

How addicted to Twitter are you?

Created by Oatmeal

Twitter Please Fix Direct Messages or Eliminate Them

Anyone else frustrated with Twitter Direct Messages?  I occasionally use Direct Messages  they are convenient for sharing a small piece of information outside of the public stream, they are also incredibly frustrating.

1. The limitations on who can send a direct message to who are absurd.  While I understand that only allowing the sending of a Direct Message to a person following you makes sense from an anti-spam perspective, if someone follows me and I send them a Direct message they should be able to respond regardless if I follow them or not.  If I had a nickel for every tweet I have seen imploring someone to “follow me so I can DM” well I would have a nice collection of nickels.

2. It is just to easy for a Direct Message to become public by accident, this might be a case of ‘user error’, but the fact that Twitter’s support pages have an entire section on how a DM can become public tells me it is just too easy.  (one of the reasons I keep the Twitter for Android Client on my phone, is that has a very clear visual difference between sending a tweet and and a DM it is the only mobile client I will use to send a DM).

3. Many of the longer conversations I have had via DM would have been much better served taking place over Skype, Sametime, Phone or maybe even carrier pigeon.

Do you use Direct messages on Twitter? Have you ever tweeted what you meant to be a Private message?  I would be fine with Twitter simply eliminating the feature.

One more thing, if you send and receive a larger number of Direct Messages good luck going back and finding information you might need from a DM, Twitter will only show you the last 100.

Where are my direct messages?


My Favorite Twitter App for Android & iOS

tweetcasterHint: it’s not the official Twitter clients

Since last weeks big upgrades to Twitter there is a lot of chatter about both the Web UI, as well as the apps for Android and iOS.  I don’t use the Twitter Website much at all, but mobile Apps are another story more than half my tweets come from a mobile device.

My favorite mobile Twitter App has become Tweetcaster Pro (Android, iOS check the features lists not all features are available on all platforms) they have a free version with ads, and the Pro version which sells for $4.99 in the Android Market is ad free (I was lucky enough to grab the Pro version free as the Amazon Free App of the day a while ago). Besides all of the features you would expect it has two features I rely on heavily.


Merge lists in to timeline – I have a number of twitter lists I follow on a variety of topics, Tweetcaster lets you merge a list into you main timeline view, so for example when I am watching football on Sunday I merge my NFL List into my timeline, when the games are done I remove the list from my timeline.  Nice way to see all the information in one place on Sunday, and have it separate the rest of the time.

Zip It – ever have someone in your timeline attend an event or tweet about something for a period of time that is of no interest to you? Keeping with our football example maybe you follow me, but have no interest in football.  You can zip a person, hashtag, keyword to keep them out of your timeline with out un-following a person, and easily unzip them when that event is over.

Which twitter app is your favorite? If you were using the official Twitter apps do the recent changes have you looking for a new one?

Creating a Personal Twitter Archive

It all started out so simple, a while ago recognizing that Twitter does not let you see all of your past tweets, and their search is not the greatest I wanted to have a personal archive of my tweets.  My first attempt at this was to use the Twitter Tools for WordPress plugin which automatically creates a blog entry for your tweets based on a schedule (per post, daily, weekly). Unfortunately (well maybe fortunately) it never worked right for me, it either skipped the day altogether, or duplicated the post for the day.

The next attempt at archiving my tweets was using TweetNest running on PHP/MySQL, it took me less then 20 minutes to install and configure it.  I set it up last October and it has just been running since.  You can view my TweetNest install here, I have not done any customization to it, though it supports customization of the UI.  The search feature works really well, and I can usually find any tweet available in the archive quickly.


That is pretty much all there is to TweetNest works as advertised. I don’t know how active development of TweetNest is, it has been on beta version 0.8.2 since I started using it last October.

The next application that came on my radar was ThinkUp, originally created by Gina Trapani, and actively developed as open source project. I started out last fall with beta 0.7 and recently upgraded to beta 0.14, with a full version 1.0 close to being launched.

ThinkUp Introduction Video

ThinkUp also runs on PHP/MySQL, I had it installed and configured in about 20 minutes, the upgrades to each new beta release take maybe 5 minutes to complete (though it will depend on the size of your database).

ThinkUp supports archiving of both Twitter and Facebook data, and on the Twitter side will show you your Retweets, most replied to tweets, as well as actually displaying the replies, allowing you to see an entire Twitter conversation in one view.

I use the search capability in ThinkUp fairly often to find information, and it is very helpful to follow a thread when a tweet gets a lot of replies.

I also have a memolane account, and while memolane provides excellent search capability against a number of services, what I like about TweetNest and ThinkUp is I now have an archive of my Tweets, in my own MySQL database so in addition to the export capability in ThinkUp, I have access to my Tweets should I ever want to do anything with them.

Do you archive your tweets or any other social activity? Are you interested in a personal backup of your activity?

Sorry Twitter I Prefer Notifications in my Client

Twitter has added some new e-mail notification options, and enabled them by default.  As a result I woke up this morning to a surprising number of e-mails in the e-mail account associated with my Twitter ID.

Tweetdeck already provides all of this functionality, I would really prefer not to have the same information e-mailed to me. 

You might want to check your Twitter notification settings. The only one of these I like to keep enabled is direct messages, my personal preference.


Tweetdeck Catches Twhirl (at least for me)

I was a long time user of Twhirl as my twitter client, but a while back I switched to Tweetdeck, and today according to my Tweetstats, Tweetdeck caught up to Twhirl as my most used client for updating Twitter. A picture named M2 I hope you enjoyed this completely useless personal Twitter fact!

Rob Novak Broke Twitter!

Or am I the only one who noticed that Twitter Broke right around the time Rob Novak was presenting at UKLUG.  Yes I am talking about THAT SESSION you know the one with the free beer Scotch.

Those of you familiar with Rob’s “Free Beer” series from ILUG know two things for sure. One, you get a great demo and access to life-changing (eye-opening? maybe hero-making!) code for free. Two, he’s not kidding about the title. Join Rob as he stands on all the SNAPPS guys’ shoulders once again to bring you some amazing examples of Domino wizardry coupled with – in honor of our new host country for UKLUG – a wee nip to take the edge off. And hey, if you fall asleep in this session, we can only blame the drink!