Hootsuite vs. TweetDeck

I’ve been thinking very seriously about using a Twitter client desktop app like Hootsuite or TweetDeck for awhile now. Lots of Twitter buddies I chat with rave about TweetDeck, but I’ve also heard good things about Hootsuite as well. Being the curious little bugger that I am, I decided to check out both products to see how each of them works. Since many of you reading this blog are also on Twitter, I thought I’d share my findings in case you’re curious, too.

From what I can see, the products are quite similar, as you probably guessed. Here is a brief list of the primary features and benefits of each product.

Hootsuite

• Easily manage multiple Twitter accounts, which is great for business and personal use.

• Share account access with others who use or monitor the account. For example a personal assistant, partner, boss, friend etc.

• Track statistics on how many clicks your tweets have received. Statistics can be broken down per tweet or in a summary form.

• The multi-column view offers the ability to organize into columns using as many groupings as you like. For example, you can group by anything from friends to keywords, or popular trends.

• Manage followers

• Schedule tweets

TweetDeck

• Organize groups in order to follow specific Twitter users based on your individual preferences. For example, you may want to follow writers, book lovers, chess players, music lovers, SEO experts, etc.

• Create columns and track multiple views while remaining in the main viewing window. For example, let’s say you want to group all of your Twitter buddies together, the ones you talk to most frequently. By setting up a column you can see them all together and track their tweets more closely.

• Easily upload pictures using Twitpic, a photo sharing tool.

• Facebook, LinkedIn, and Myspace integration.

• Built in URL shortener using bit.ly.

• Use Tweetdeck on your mobile phone.

In choosing a Twitter client it really comes down to what you want out of the product. If you’ve had experience with one of these, or even a different product like these, please tell us what your experience has been.

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Social Bookmarking 101

For the last year or so, I’d see words like Delicious, Digg, and Reddit and I wondered what these products were all about, and why people were raving about using them. Truthfully, I stayed away from investigating further because I firmly believed I would only waste my time trying to keep up with yet another social media site. Boy was I wrong in my thinking. I’ve been social bookmarking for a little while now and I must say, “I get it.”

In case you’re new to social bookmarking, let me first start by explaining what it is. Raise your hand if you have ever found a website, blog post, or article that you thought a friend or family member would find useful, so you sent them the link. If you have done this, effectively you were social bookmarking. The concept is really the same.

Most of us are used to using our browser’s toolbar to add links to our favorite websites. With social bookmarking, you are doing the same thing, only instead of adding the link to your browser, where only you or those with access to your computer, can view the link, you are simply saving the bookmark online. The cool thing about bookmarking online is that you can share your bookmarks with whomever you wish. By tagging the bookmark, you create categories that make the link easy to catalog for sharing and future reference.

For example, as many of you may know I’m a member of the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). One of the many benefits of being a part of this organization is the volume of helpful information that writers freely share with each other. For a long time, all I could do was save the emails with information that I thought I would need at a later date. While this method works, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with keeping messages, I found it very time consuming and tedious to sift through messages in order to find the information I needed, when I needed it.

Now when a fellow writer sends an email saying something like, “I’ve found this great site with tons of writing contest information,” I can bookmark the site and use tags to easily categorize the content.

Still not convinced? Click here to take a look at my Delicious bookmarks. If you’re a writer or into social media, I bet you’ll find something of interest. Consider this…if you found something useful among my bookmarks, think how many you could find if browsing all the Delicious bookmarks and flipping through them based on your interest, what’s popular, trends etc. If you’re anything like me, the fear is that you’ll spend hours reading when you should be working.

One final note, you may be wondering how social bookmarking differs from using search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find information. The key is that browsing through social bookmarks using tags, and or, advanced search features allows you to find specific information without the fuss of looking at tons of stuff you don’t need. Just imagine how much time and effort you save by using a filtered source that is bubbling over with information waiting to be discovered.

Have you tried social bookmarking? What is your take on the whole bookmarking concept?

 

 

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