Archive for the 'Social Networks' Category

Hootsuite 2.0 Twitter Web App

hoosuitelogoYes, your humble author was one of the lucky few that managed to grab one of the 100 free private beta invites from Mashable last night. And here comes my little write up of what you can expect to see from Hootsuite after it comes out from its web 2.0 update.¬†For any of you who don’t know (or haven’t guessed from the title) Hootsuite is yet another web app for twitter.

Interface:

I have to say that Hootsuite has to be, as far as web apps go, one of the most powerful I’ve seen. I actually prefer it over twitter itself for the amount of control over the different Twitter streams that can be aggregated. Firstly, when you sign on to the new Hootsuite you find yourself now presented with a tabbed interface (which is completely dragable). The default tab is a welcome page with updates from Hootsuite and featured users. By default there is also a second tab with your twitter profile home feed, replies, DM’s and pending tweets (because yes, with Hootsuite you can set tweets for later).

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But this is only the beginning. The true power of the new Hootsuite is in the custom tabs which you can create to aggregate pretty much any data from twitter and save it into a tabs and columns within those tabs. The columns you can create are cover just about every range of data that you could want to monitor on twitter, anything from keyword tracking (up to a maximum of 3 in one search), twitter search, and the ability to organise people into different groups (eg. friends, co-workers, etc.) and the number of columns and tabs seems practically unlimited.

Multiple Accounts:

Another great feature of Hootsuite (which hasn’t changed much since the original version) is the ability to add multiple user accounts so those of you with more than 1 can keep track and post to multiple accounts all in one place. Other profiles can also be added as ‘admin’ level or ‘editor’ level so that if your a company or blog, you can have multiple people handling different twitter accounts from one place.

Integration:

And its not just posting to twitter that Hootsuite provides for. The site also gives good connections into Ping.fm so you should be able to post to just about anything. They also have connection for RSS/atom feeds if your one to use your twitter account as an RSS reader.

Stats:

Finally Hootsuite update is going to include twitter statistics for the links in your tweets. They get broken down into graphs displaying number of clicks per day, from what region of the world and the top refers for the links. A very useful little tool if you have a blog that shares posts on twitter to monitor how many people your pulling from twitter.

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As i mentioned early Hootsuite is still currently in Private beta, but keep your eyes peeled for any information about when they plan on releasing it to the public. From the looks of it it shouldn’t be too long now!

Brighten Up Your Blog With Social Buttons

social_buttonsIf you happen to be a regular reader of this little blog you might have noticed that I have added some new profile links and a RSS link to the right hand side of his blog. I thought it might brighten it up a bit and make it look a tad more professional.

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Unfortunately I can’t take credit for them in anyway (I happen to be terrible at photoshop), but they come from a great site called mysocialbuttons.com which provides all sorts of swanky graphics which you can use to proudly display your user profiles across the web for all to see (as you can see I’ve provided a few examples). And the best part is that it’s all available for absolutely nothing! All of the buttons have links back to the original authors where you should be able to get terms of use etc.

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The site provides lots of different icons and badges collected into different sets from most popular social networks including Digg, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Delicious and Flickr. Often the icons are supported in multiple sizes so there’s bound to be a style that suites your blog. Although it is worth mentioning that not all collections include icons for all social services.

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Monitter Twitter

In a previous post of mine i have already stated my fondness of using twitter for monitoring important information i want to know crossing the web. Well i previously was partially to using tweet scan for this, but thanks to a Make Use Of article, i have switched to using Monitter for this task as it is more feature rich, allowing for monitoring of 3 keywords rather than 1. Check out the article for more information.
clipped from www.makeuseof.com
Monitter is an easy-to-use application that allows you to monitor Twitter for any three keywords and see what people are saying about them. Monitter can be useful for many things such as finding Twitter users with similar interests as you or monitoring what people are saying about you and/or your website. Personally, I like using Monitter to see what other people are saying about some of my favorite sites and applications such as Digsby, Zenbe, and Feedly.
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Tweet Scan: Monitor Twitter!

Do you remember the day that Firefox 3 was released? And how a fair few people (including myself) had problems trying to get through to the servers? Well i finally managed to get through due to a direct link posted on Twitter. And now Twitter (or rather Tweet Scan) has done it again.

I and just about everyone else had problems ascertaining our copies for Windows 7 over the past few days. What with the server failures, product keys not being delivered and stuff just not going right, it was nearly impossible to keep track of what links were working and what weren’t.

This is where Tweet Scan enters. I found that the most clear up to the minute advice on Windows 7 came from the entire community of Twitter sharing what was working for them and what wasn’t. Tweet Scan enables you to enter a few keywords and search for and Tweets with your query in them (in my case it was “Windows 7 download”). Tweet Scan then gives you an automatically updated time line with all the tweets relating to your query, effortlessly allowing you to monitor whats happening in the Twitter world.

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When you load up the Tweet Scan homepage, you are given a very minimalistic Google like search box with a tag cloud for the most popular tweets at the moment. Once you have submitted your query, you get a very resemblance to the familiar twitter time line with the incoming tweets updated regularly. Tweet Scan also gives yo the ability to search for tweets by user.

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This tool is one of my favorites for understand just what is going on during large events such as major beta releases. You get information that is more up to date than any blog could dream of keeping up with. The only downside is of course that the information may not be accurate 100% of the time. But if you need to be in the know, and you need to know now, the information is priceless.

Diigo: the new Delicious?

Ever since I started using Firefox as my main web browser i had constantly used Delicious bookmarks add-on for keeping track of my important pages.

That was until a few weeks ago when I read about Diigo. Diigo in many respects is very much like Delicious, boasting many of the same features of “social bookmarking”. I have, however, come to realise that there is much more to Diigo than Delicious.

Firstly, and may be being superficial here, but i prefer the websites user interface much better than delicious. That may just be my opinion, but i just feel that the interface is a lot smoother and more easy on the eye that Delicious.

The next thing i like about Diigo over Delicious is the integration into Firefox is much better than. Numerous times have i loaded up Firefox to find that i have to sign-in to Delicious, when it should be auto-saved. But i have never had any problems of this kind with Diigo.

I also like the tool bar a lot better than Delicious. With Diigo you get a proper tool bar to work with rather than just three little buttons. With this tool bar you get most of the functionality that you would expect (ie. bookmark, visit the site, sidebar bookmark search, friends bookmarks etc.) but you also get a lot more.

There are options when you bookmark a page to “read later”, there’s an option to “Send to” where you can post to a blog, twitter and Facebook as well as regular e-mail. Another feature that i particularly love is the two folders names “Unread” and “Recent” which allow quick access to my latest bookmarks. Something which saves an awful lot of time instead of rummaging through the sidebar.

Finally, one of my favorite features as a student is that Diigo includes the functionality to highlight contents of a web page and add annotations to content, a life saver when doing research.

I was once a big fan of Delicious but i am now fully turned to Diigo by the shear multitude of features and the way it still manages to remain simple and easy to use. If your a Delicious user i would certainly recommend trying Diigo instead.


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