May 6 2009 @stuartflatt

So after my previous post idea happened to appear somewhere else, I thought I would hold off for a while and create a new one. Tweetdeck (or any third party app) is essential if you want to remain active and communicate with multiple followers on twitter. Here are my tips on how to use it;

Settings
The first thing we will do is play with the settings (spanner sign in the top right).

Settings

In the general tab I suggest ticking ‘open profiles in web page’. This will save on your API calls so you are less likely to run out.

Personally I turn off notification windows and sounds. This means that if I am into a piece of work I don’t keep getting put of by a flashing sign or ‘ping’. We both know as soon as you see something, curiosity will get the better of you and you will check it out.

As for colour and fonts, I like the standard, however if you fancy a change, play with tab 2.

Twitter API is all about how many times you ‘ping’ twitter for information. This needs to be below 100% and I would suggest going well below just to give you some breathing room. There are 3 options;

All friends – I set this to every 10 minutes (6%). I can then scroll through checking out what people are saying at my leisure without other updates flying in.
@Replies – I deem these the most important communication on twitter. Without @replies twitter wouldn’t really exist and the community would fail to grow. I set this to every 2 minutes (30%)
Direct Messages – I used to deem these important, but more and more people are just using direct messages for spam. Generally if people have something interesting to say they will @reply you so I set this to 6 minutes (10%)

All of this means I am only using 46% of my API calls, allowing me manual refreshes etc. should I need them.

Groups
Next I set up my groups. As standard you should have;

  • All friends
  • @replies
  • Direct messages
  • Facebook status updates (if signed in)

You can set up a new group by clicking the button shown below (it looks like 2 little people);

Groups

The first thing I would advise is to create a personal friends / family group and in here tick all of the names you want to appear in this group. For most people (depending on usage) this may be your most important group.

I would then create groups based on ‘grade’. For instance I have a ‘A’ group. It includes the people I follow who I think provide the most interesting and noteworthy content. I then also cascade down all the way to D. I review these on a regular basis and will change the groups depending on who is tweeting what.

Another way to do it is group depending on content genre. For instance; one might be design, another might be sport, one for cars etc.

This is all really personal preference and you will have to see what works well for you.

Searches
My last column (s) will be search related (magnify glass, at top). Depending what I want information on at any given moment I may have between 1 and 3 search boxes open allowing me to see who is talking about what.
This is great for if you want connect with people in a particular niche, from your local area etc.

Order
This is very important as depending on the size of your monitor, you may only have enough room for 4 – 5 columns on your screen at once. You will need to deem which are your favourite and move them using the arrow keys at the bottom of each column. You can then use the horizontal scroll bar to move across.

Filter
Finally one of the most overlooked parts on tweetdeck is Filter. On each column you will also have a filter button. You can use this to filter by a particular user, or for say RT (to see what people are re-tweeting) or http:// if you are looking for interesting links to read.

Well those are my tips for a successful setup of tweetdeck, trust me, once you get used to it, your twitter life will become a whole lot easier. Hopefully in the next release we may see support for multiple accounts and the ability to share preferences on multiple work stations.

If you missed any previous twitter posts;

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