Tag Archive: Twitter

School of Law Faculty on Twitter

Want to know what your professor Tweets about? Below is a list of School of Law Faculty who use the social media network, Twitter:

Robert Anderson-‏ @WITNESSETHBlog

Jeff Baker- ‏@JRBProf

Paul Caron- @SoCalTaxProf

Colleen Graffy- ‏@Colleen_Graffy

Michael Avi Helfand- ‏@MAHelfand

Bernard James- @SchoolSafetyLaw

Douglas W. Kmiec- ‏@dougkmiec

Greg McNeal- @GregoryMcNeal

Derek T. Muller- ‏@derektmuller

Interested in finding out which SOL Faculty have Web sites and blogs? View a list of their Web sites here.

HootSuite and WordPress

Yesterday HootSuite and WordPress announced that you could use HootSuite to post to your WordPress hosted blog. Here’s a bit of the copy from the WordPress Announcement:

You can schedule and cross-post content to multiple WordPress.com blogs (posting to self-hosted WordPress blogs isn’t available yet). You can also set up a Home Feed for blogs you’re following, and reblog posts that you like. Check out the tutorial video HootSuite’s put together to see how easy it is to get going.

This adds to the impressive set of apps (mobile and PC based) that work well with this great blogging platform.

Obviously we like WordPress here at SOL-IS, we have a self-hosted implementation of their software running this blog. But any effort to tackle this digital jungle needs to have cross-service support. And for serious users maintaining an internet presence across Twitter, Facebook, Blogs and more, will eventually turn to an application like HootSuite.

It’s good to see them extend this support.

To see more on third party apps, see Jared’s recent post.

Third-Party Twitter Apps

twitter

From the moment Twitter released its API to developers, there has been no shortage of products to assist people in using and managing their Twitter Accounts. I have been using HootSuite for almost as long as I have been using Twitter. As I was getting familiar with HootSuite, a business-minded product called Co-Tweet came out. All along, in the periphery I knew of a couple more major players, Seesmic and TweetDeck. I started playing with Seesmic and TweetDeck this week to see what each had to offer. For the most part, each of these products does the same thing. They send updates to your Twitter account, and let you do all the things you would do on Twitter’s website on either a desktop application or the product’s website.

hootsuite

Since HootSuite is the first one I used, I’ll start with it. HootSuite has a pretty simple interface. You can add multiple accounts, and can assign users to tweet for you. There is a convenient bookmarklet that you can drag into your browser’s bookmark bar. HootSuite can shrink URLs for you in order to save Twitter real-estate. 140 characters go away quickly when you are using long URLs. HootSuite has all the features you would expect. You can read tweets from people you follow, read and send direct messages, and of course post updates.

cotweet

Co-Tweet was the next product I tried. Co-Tweet was designed with business in mind, and expects business clients to have multiple users associated with a single Twitter account. While HootSuite has a similar feature, the User Interface (UI) is a little more serene on Co-Tweet. A less flashy UI makes for a more respectable business client. Co-Tweet does all the things I mentioned HootSuite does. It is easy to use, and I am happy with it.

seesmic-web

Next up is Seesmic. Seesmic has a desktop application as well as a web interface. I have been leaning toward web-apps in my general preferences lately but I wanted to try out the desktop version to get a feel for it. The desktop version was pretty easy to use. There is a convenient tab bar on the left that lets you toggle between your friends tweets, any lists you follow, and more. I thought that by comparison with some of the other products, the desktop version of Seesmic is less attractive. This doesn’t mean it is inferior, it just didn’t have much style. The web version is another story. I found Seesmic Web to be a little easier to use. The navigation bar is more straightforward, and I was able to find things much faster on the web interface. The first thing I did was make a Chrome App for it. You can choose either a white or black template. I chose the black, since it made the interface look more professional. Overall, Seesmic had the same things to offer as the first two, but it made image integration a little easier, and offers URL shortening services from multiple vendors, not just a proprietary one.

tweetdeck

Last up is TweetDeck. From what I can tell, TweetDeck doesn’t have a web version. It makes you install Adobe Air, and the first couple times I tried, the installation failed. After the third or fourth try, it finally worked. It looks like if you go to the website and click “Launch TweetDeck”, it opens the desktop application that you had to previously install. Overall, the UI for TweetDeck is very nice. The features are easy to use. Finding the Twitter lists was a little trickier than on Seesmic, but it was still easy to figure out. One thing I have noticed is an alert each time a tweet comes in. A little popup window shows you the new tweet, and plays an audible alert. If I was to use this full-time, I would proably turn off both features, but the audio would be harder to live with than the popup I think. I found TweetDeck very easy to use. It shares a lot of the features as the above options, but is more closely in competition with Seesmic.

For the most part, Seesmic and TweetDeck behave the same way. Seesmic web looks similar to TweetDeck, especially in black. Both have an eye-catching interface, and both offer a lot of the same features. It looks like these two are in constant competition for users, which is always a good thing for the customers.

Now that I’ve tried out the big names in third-party Twitter apps, it looks like the bottom line comes down to user preference. If you like a specific color-scheme, or the way the UI lets you find your lists or your friends, then go with that one. They all have something to offer. For my part, I am happy using HootSuite for personal use, and Co-Tweet for business use. Of course Twitter itself is about to throw its hat in the ring and offer a business interface. Whichever one you choose, have fun. Don’t feel locked into one version because at this point, they are all free. You can always find something you like.

What’s Twitter For?

It’s a difficult thing to explain what Twitter is for. Partly because so many people use it badly. There are many things which Twitter can be used for. Some of these innovative approaches (like interactivity in class) are interesting and certainly a valid use of the technology.

But what’s it for? What might you be missing out on? If Twitter is just a novelty tool, then you’re just expending your excess productivity time fairly innoculously.

Maybe you should consider that Twitter is all about the coffee.

It’s all about the coffee

A fine article to help you discard your provincial notions of Twitter and maybe to get you beyond the curiosity stage. You might even teach-by-example your students, friends and family (maybe even all of Twitterdom).

Over 10 years ago I was giving Introduction to the Internet classes and the lesson we’re still learning today was what I was trying to teach then. The real value the Internet brings to your life isn’t in your web-browser. It’s on the other-side of it.

People.

Twitter – An Introduction

It seems that you can’t go anywhere without hearing about Twitter anymore. Thanks to Ashton Kutcher, CNN, and Oprah, Twitter is no longer something just for geeks and bloggers. So what exactly is Twitter? According to the Twitter website:

“Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

While it has expanded beyond this, the definition is still useful. You use Twitter to tell people what you are doing in 140 characters or less. Another way to describe Twitter and even its competitors is “Micro-Blogging”. Micro-Blogging is a great way to update interested people when you don’t have time to sit down and write a full blog. This could lead one to ask what a blog is, but if you are reading this, you probably already know.

What Can I Do With Twitter?

Twitter can be used for a variety of things. I use it to update my Facebook and other social networking status messages. I type the entry once, and each site I belong to gets the update. Some sites, especially Facebook required a bit of engineering to pull off, but nothing too difficult. Twitter can update people when you have entered a new blog post. Combined with an RSS feed, Twitter can share things for you automatically.

Where is Twitter Going?

One thing Twitter users can do is to join causes of various sorts. I recently participated in a Twitter campaign to save a television show I liked. By adding what is called a hash tag to the end of my posts, and in this case even changing my Twitter background, I joined the cause. A hash tag, simply, is a pound sign (#) with a brief topic following. People interested in the recent Sandra Day O’Connor lecture at the Pepperdine University School of Law could follow the event by searching Twitter for #peplaw. By using Twitter’s search feature, you can often assume that a topic will have already been discussed, and simply search for it with the # in front.

What Do I Call My Posts?

Twitter being an unusual name, one hears all kinds of versions of what a post is called. Some say it is twittering, some say tweeting. Some have even called them twits. The general consensus is to call a post a tweet. Multiple posts would be tweets.

Is Twitter the Only Choice?

While Twitter certainly has name recognition, there are a number of other products out there. One company is working on a business-centered Twitter tool. Others are more direct competitors. I use another site as a tool to combine my multiple Twitter accounts. As I find new products I will be posting about them.

While this has not been an exhaustive introduction, it should provide a general idea of what Twitter is about. Twitter’s website is found at www.twitter.com. The Pepperdine University School of Law hash tag is #peplaw. If you want to follow me on Twitter, search for jaredp_peplaw.

Until next time, happy tweeting.