18 October 2011

Tech Tuesday - It Does That? Leverage your Technology

I'll preface this by saying that this isn't going to be some technical discussion of smartphones and/or different platforms on which you can use Tweetdeck...it's more the 'down & dirty' I wish I would've had when I first started using Tweetdeck to manage my Twitter account. I have about 500 or so follows/followers; the number doesn't matter to me, but I have to admit that managing 100 is a LOT easier than 500. 

So, you have your Twitter account, Facebook and possibly Foursquare and you'd like to see them on your smartphone all in one place. There are several platforms you can use; my personal preference is Tweetdeck. When starting up the app, I believe you have to sign in. Once you've done that, it'll keep you signed in and you won't have to do it again. You'll see a bar at the top with the word 'Home' (in white).  The first and most important thing I didn't know: the word will turn yellow when there are new tweets to read, and if you tap the bar it will scroll through everything, bringing you to the top of the list. Oh, how I wish I'd known this right away...LOL. At the bottom of the screen there are four icons: one that looks like a dialog bubble (for creating tweets/posts), an outline of a person, a plus sign, and a compass.

The dialog bubble opens a screen where you can enter text to tweet or post. Above that, there should be icons that correspond to each of your accounts: Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. By the way, for those that have more than one Twitter account, you can add them here, either switching between icons or tweeting to both accounts simultaneously. Simply tap the icon for the account you want to tweet/post to, and that's where it goes!

The icon of a person opens a screen that at first seemed pointless. However, if you have specific people that you want to see, this is where you can put them! There are 12 spaces to use and all you have to do is tap an empty square, select the account from the auto-generated list and you'll be able to access their account with a single touch. I like this for accessing my own account and for some of my Tweeple who have lots and lots of tweets. There is also a place on this screen to lookup a Twitter profile.

The next icon, the plus sign, was the one that Jen was the most interested in. This is the screen where you select what columns you'll have available. When you first start up Tweetdeck, only the 'Home' column is available. As you add columns, using this page, dots will appear on the top bar to show (white or yellow) if there are active tweets on the column. You can either search Twitter, using a hashtag term, or the thing that Jen loved was that you can have your lists on a column! This is how I follow my groups of Tweeple. By clicking on your Twitter icon on this page, a new page opens with options for columns that include @ Mentions, Direct Messages, Favorites and then, Lists. Simply select the list you want, tap the 'Add Column' at the bottom and the follows on that list will show up in a column! Swipe your finger on the screen to move across columns.

A bit about Lists. Twitter allows up to 10 lists to be created, and this is how I manage my account. It allows me to see almost all of the tweets I receive, a vast amount of information. However, but chopping it up into chunks, it's much easier to manage. Also, it's easier to go back if I need to check something that I did miss. I have a list for my 'real life' people (a locked list), one for genealogy people, one for archivists/librarians, one for fitness, etc. 

Each column can be individually set for notifications that include a notification at the top, a blinking light, a quick sound, and/or vibrate. There also is a bar that allows you to decide how often the columns are updated, from a manual update to every 3 minutes.

I hope this helps someone who may be new to Tweetdeck, or who hasn't used it as much as they'd like. Technology can truly be our friend, if we let it. Is there anything I've missed? Anything else I can help explain?

1 comment:

  1. OK Laura, if you can believe it I never understood what TweetDeck was. While reading your post, I grabbed the iphone, uploaded the TweetDeck app, had to reset my Twitter password because I never wrote it down (sigh), had to switch to the OTHER Facebook account (did this by logging out from the one that TweetDeck found), and now I am all set!!!! This is great because I can see all the genealogy content from my FB and Twitter accounts in one place, and leave the normal FB and Twitter apps for the family/friends accounts.

    One more thing, I did the major update to my iphone software recently and my screen looks a bit different, but I could still make my way through your tips. thanks!! this is great! and free!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog!