In a previous post I wrote about Twitter and what it means to the Danish developer community. The real value of Twitter however does not come by visiting the site from time to time. You have to participate actively to keep the conversation going and that’s where the Twitter clients come into the picure.
I’ve been through a bunch of them and ultimately decided which one I liked the best. I’ll try and spare you from doing the same all over.
Digsby gets honorable mention becayse it was my first Twitter client and because this program how I got started with Twitter and in no small way the reason why I still use it.
Digsby is labelled a social network client which gives you access not only to Twitter, in fact that’s the least of it, but also to Messenger, LinkedIn, Facebook, Yahoo Chat, Google Talk, the list goes on and on but you get the point. Digsby speaks with most social networks out there.
That was my reason for trying it out as I really didn’t feel that I needed a dedicated program to try out Twitter. I spent quite some time with Digsby and felt for a long time that it was the way to go. In fact the reason I dropped it was not so much Twitter related as it was Messenger related. It simply didn’t work as advertised, sending file for one was spotty.
As a Twitter client it performed admirably and for me at least it was a low cost to pay for trying out Twitter as I used it primarily as a Messenger client with the added benefit of being able to send out my tweets as well.
Twitterrific is an interesting one as it didn’t start out on the desktop for me. It actually started out on my iPhone and went I got a Mac late last year it was the natural choice for the desktop as well as the iPhone experience with this thing is flawless as far as I’m concerned.
Now the application is pretty much the same on the Mac. Interestingly it turns out that the functionality doesn’t quite cut it on the desktop. Due to the nature of tweets messages need to be as compact as they can be.
Imagine that you’re posting a link which can easily be 50 - 60 characters; at that point you really want to be able to shorten a link easily and post the short version insteand. Unfortunately Twitterrific doesn’t support this which is fine on the iPhone where cut and paste is not to be found so you tend not to post links. On the desktop though links are thrown left and right so not having the feature is a real pain point – at least for me.
Thus Twitterric was evicted from the Mac desktop but remain on the iPhone as one of the first apps I ever installed on that thing.
Before I delve into twhirl a word on Adobe AIR. Not so much because I find the platform interesting but because I find it interesting that as a platform a lot of the ecosystem is made up of … wait for it … Twitter clients. It’s interesting to me that a service like Twitter can drive a platform like AIR and not the other way around.
twhirl is pretty much like Twitterrific only the name is quite a bit easier to spell and it supports the link shortening feature I mentioned above. It being an Adobe AIR app also means that it’s cross platform for those us running cross ethnic platforms out there.
twhirl is like the girlfriend you can’t quite figure out if you want to spend your life with or leave for someone else. I left but ultimately came back so I guess it’s forever between us :)
And finally remember to follow me on Twitter once you get your favorite client up and running :)