As some of you may know, I once likened using Twitter to dating a smart, funny guy that all of my friends and family really like but with whom I just don't share much chemistry. In that post, I cited a couple of other folks, including super marketer Seth Godin, who have mixed feelings about Twitter.
I am still a sporadic Twitter user, not quite willing to give up on the relationship. Sure, I'd rather use a tool for which I had more passion, but I know that a deep and abiding fondness can develop over time. Would some useful Twitter applications spice things up? (Apologies for the "ripped from Cosmopolitan" headline for this post. I couldn't resist.)
A Google search tells me what I already know. The number of Twitter applications has exploded, right along with the popularity of the service. A Google search for "Twitter applications" yields 156 million results. That's a pretty intimidating number. So I'm glad a found a TechCrunch piece from earlier this year that tells five good ways to discover Twitter apps. After a bit of browsing, I agree with TechCrunch that the Twitter Fan Wiki appears to offer one of the most comprehensive lists of apps but is a bit of a snooze because it lacks the visual interest of the other sites.
Firefox is my usual browser, and I really like this list of top 10 Twitter add-ons for Firefox at webitect. A wide-ranging list of Twitter apps, including several I plan to try, is at Examiner.com, with a few apps selected in numerous categories including real-time search and analytics.
Personal recommendations are good. Fellow IT Business Edge blogger Loraine Lawson likes tweetree, which "trees" posts so you can see original Tweets and follow-up responses related to them. She especially likes the box which shows a URL preview of links included in Tweets. "I'm lovin' it," she messaged me. (Like me, Loraine has a small child and thus probably spends far more time than she'd like at McDonald's.)
I'd really like to hear from you. Which Twitter apps are you using and why?
While third-party applications are generally a good thing, remember there are always losers out there who will want to use them for evil rather than good. Exhibit A: a spam app called TwitViewer.net. In a recent post, IT Business Edge blogger Ralph DeFrangesco mentioned some other threats and cautioned Twitter users to be careful out there.