I’m a dedicated user of TweetDeck and have been for years, so when some Bloggiesta participants asked for a tutorial, I willingly jumped at the opportunity to convert. Nearly everything about the site is customizable, so it can take some tinkering to get things right, but once you get your bearings it’s almost impossible to go back.
The first thing you have to do is get yourself signed in through TweetDeck (http://tweetdeck.twitter.com) and set up your account. If you have more than one Twitter account, you can login with all of them and keep track of different actions in one place.
Unlike Twitter.com’s single feed, TweetDeck makes it possible to customize your viewing space with the Twitter content you want to see through the use of columns. These columns can change as little or as often as you want, and are the core of getting TweetDeck to work for you. You’ll start with Home, which is basically the single feed from Twitter, and have the option to change from there. To add a column, click the plus sign on the left bar, which will bring up a panel of choices.
There are a ton of options here, so your columns will vary greatly depending on how you use Twitter. For me, the Notifications column is essential. As with Twitter’s site, we all need a place to see who’s tapping on our shoulder. One thing I love about TweetDeck is the deeper customization of each column once it’s added, which is done by clicking on the bars at the top right.
For example, with Notifications, you are free to customize exactly which notifications show up in your column. If you care about Favorites but aren’t concerned with Lists, your options can reflect that. You can also get very specific when it comes to which users, content, and words you want (or don’t want!) reflected in your Notifications.
TweetDeck is also pretty invaluable for following major events or hashtags using the Search column. Simply search for a term you want to follow (like Bloggiesta) and add it as a column to keep track of what’s going on during that event. When the event is over, you can just delete the column from your dashboard.
A few other features
- If you miss the threaded conversations of the native Twitter site, they’re not gone in TweetDeck, just hidden. Click on any tweet that starts with an @reply and you’ll see the entire conversation it stemmed from.
- The muting features on TweetDeck are pretty fabulous, especially if you’re trying to avoid a specific hashtag or word for a time. Under the settings you’re able to mute by content, user, or source.
- When you compose a new tweet, TweetDeck gives you several options, including which account to tweet from and when to tweet it. You can schedule tweets well ahead of time and create a column to keep track of what you have scheduled (or edit/delete later).
- TweetDeck doesn’t have a mobile app, which is pretty heartbreaking. As an Android user, I’d been looking for something comparable for years and finally found it in Fenix, which I can’t recommend enough. If anyone is a regular user of TweetDeck and has a comparable app for the iPhone, please share!
Your Bloggiesta challenge is to set up TweetDeck and give it a try. If you’re frustrated at first, try tinkering with some of the customizations before giving up and you can always tweet me (@rivercityreadng) for some help.
Do you use TweetDeck or do you stick to Twitter’s site? Are there other tips and tricks you’d like to share for TweetDeck users?