GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

Twitter information management and Seesmic

Posted by George J Janczyn on November 17, 2009

Since I began using it, Twitter has proven to be increasingly useful for me to get news on subjects I’m interested in (it isn’t necessary to follow the noise, you know), and the recently developed Twitter Lists feature has enabled me to topically organize and filter relevant sources. It’s just a matter of identifying a good source to follow (and study who they follow and who follows them to identify more good sources).

When Seesmic Desktop was announced recently, I thought it might be a useful tool for using Twitter and it is. Being able to open and display several lists at once is quite nice. No need to jump around as much. With Twitter alone, I also found I sometimes missed seeing a reply that got buried in my home page timeline, but that’s no problem with Seesmic because it can gather all replies together in a column just like any other list. Below is a Seesmic page with three lists showing, navigation bar on the left.

Seesmic has a user-oriented feedback system too, one that social services like Facebook and, um, Twitter, should take note of. As you type on their feedback page, your keywords are instantly matched with previous comments and displayed, so that you can see other comments on that topic. Then, instead of entering a duplicate comment, you can enter a vote on the previously submitted comment to show how many people support that idea. If you wish, you can continue and submit your own comment. Nice touch, and clearly one that benefits the Seesmic team as well. I think more services should use this technique. In the picture below, I was going to suggest that they make their columns scroll smoothly rather than incrementally by post, and this came up after I entered “smooth scrolling”:

I’m not suggesting that Seesmic is the best tool (TweetDeck would have to be a contender although it doesn’t support Twitter lists yet)[Nov 30–it does now, update just released], as there are plenty of other Twitter apps out there. I just happened to try it and it turns out I like it.

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