There are lots of articles and blog posts out there that list Twitter tools. Very few of them seem to discuss the actual uses of those tools. Since the beginning of the year, I have been involved in scores of Twitter Chats and I am always on the lookout for better ways to handle them.
Below you will find a list of Twitter Chat tools and my personal opinions of the pros/cons of each one. If you would like to share your pros/cons, please do so in the comments.
Tweetchat is the leader in the Twitter Chat race. It is my favorite chat app and it is the favorite of most Twitter chatters. The TweetChat experience is simple and yet powerful. To my knowledge they are the only app where you enter the hashtag once and then it is appended to each tweet for you. They do not append any additional URL’s. These alone are reasons to make them #1.
Another very important feature they offer is the ability to determine the speed that the tweets will refresh as well as pause the stream. While this may seem trivial, you will understand why it is important when we get to savorchat. Tweetchat also allows you to block/feature users, reply to particular tweets, re-tweet any message, and favorite any tweet.
I have only used Twubs for testing and never for a whole chat. The reason is I have an idealogical difference with the fact that they default to tweeting their URL with every tweet. While twubs is not as good as TweetChat at the actual chatting, they are an interesting choice to view a hashtag BETWEEN chats because of the content that can be connected around the chatting community: Links, members, images,
Both of these apps allow you save searches. This feature can be used to follow a hashtag chat. While it is nice to be able to work within a familiar Twitter environment, the huge problem is that you always have to remember to type the hashtag. Call me lazy, but that is too much work for me. :)
Similar to TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop you have to remember to type the hashtag. One advantage TweetGrid has though is that you can create a URL that automatically opens a specific set of searches for anyone who uses it.
Writing this blog post was sparked after experiencing my first SavorChat on Tues night. On the one hand, I am really excited because they have some features that I have been thinking would benefit chats. On the other hand, their first implementation has enough negatives that it is almost unusable.
- They are attempting to provide breadcrumbs that show the reply chain of a particular tweet concept. While this is useful in theory, there are a few problems.
- Everything happens so fast in a Twitter Chat there is not really time to analyze the chain
- Twitter chat replies are like a game of telephone. The reply to the reply may have absolutely nothing to do with the original
- They take up valuable space so that less tweets can fit vertically.
- They are attempting to solve the Twitter lag problem by providing msgs that do not go through Twitter but instead are posted directly to all the chatters. Again, good in theory, but here are the problems
- The tweets come in one at a time so that the screen is constantly moving. Reading moving text is very challenging so readers keep losing their place and have to start over. This makes the chat appear faster than it is.
- The tweets are not actually going out to Twitter so we are not getting the benefit of the built-in marketing aspect that each participant is sending Tweets to all their followers
If savor chat were to throttle their updates to come in batches, default to tweeting every post, and provide the chain as an optional advanced feature; I think they might get to the top of the list.
If you want to add media to your twitter chat, there is a new application called twebevent just launching which will allow you to do that for free
What apps do you prefer for your Twitter Chat?