I recently described Nicola McNee’s #CILIP1 Twitter campaign in which she encouraged librarians to respond to a KMPG report which questions the future of professional librarians.
Worried about the future for librarians? Join the #CILIP1 Twitter campaign – it’s taking off :-) http://bit.ly/dt6w4P
and was pleased to see, via the statistics provided by bit.ly, the large number of retweets of my announcement and, I hope, active participation in the campaign.
As can be seen the majority of views came via the Twitter.com Web site, with smaller numbers for Adobe Air clients, mobile clients and other mobile interfaces. The statistics also showed that use of the TweetDeck client (which I use) was significantly less than the accesses from Twitter.com.
I must admit I find this slightly surprising. Over a year ago colleague at Bath University admitted that he only “got” Twitter after using a dedicated client rather than the Twitter Web site.
In recent talks on “Exploiting the Social Web to Promote Your Resources” commissioned by the Strategic Content Alliance (SCA) I have described how I use TweetDeck to group the tweets to reflect my areas of interest.
An example of how I use TweetDeck so that alerts in areas of particular interest are grouped together is shown (note click on image for full-size display). If I so desire, I can configure the client so a audio and visual alert is provided when a new tweet in one of the categories is posted.
As well as the search columns I also have columns for all my followers (the view you get using the Twitter.com Web site), mentions (the @briankelly columns), direct messages and any groups which I have created – I have a Bath group containing the Twitter used I follow who are based in or around Bath) I know that some people have an A-List column containing the followers whose tweets they are particularly interested in.
I feel that information professionals who use Twitter should be aware of the benefits which can be gained from use of dedicated twitter clients – not only for their own benefits but also in advising their users of best practices for using Twitter effectively.
But perhaps librarians and information professionals aren’t allowed to install desktop applications and this is the reason for the popularity of the Twitter.com Web site. In which case a more sophisticated Web-based twitter client might be a useful tool to use. Why not give Hootsuite.com a try? As shown below this provides multiple configurable columns plus a tabbed interface. Surely it’s time to move on from Twitter.com?