Friday, April 1, 2011
TweetDeck is a real-time browser that allows you to connect all of your social media outlets and contacts into one space. It allows you to organize your feeds by topic and allows you to search for things/people/places/events more easily than before. It allows you to connect your accounts from Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google Buzz and more.
The first step is to register for an account. When you register, you will be asked for you twitter username and password. This is usually your main account.
Once you have your account, go into settings.First, you will see your general settings (none of which really need to be changed). Then there is a twitter settings section which allows you to enable real-time streaming and allows you to see people who have made your tweets one of their favorites in your mentions column (more about columns is coming!).
Twitter updates is the next tab within settings. This gives you the option of allowing Twitter to control your API,or gives you the option of controlling your API manually.
The settings for notifications allows you to choose which area or corner of the screen you would like pop-up notifications to appear in. It also allows you to decide how loud the sound is, how often they pop up, and how much detail you would like to be shown.
The fonts/colors options allow you to change the look of your tweet deck. For example, you could have a light colored scheme:
A dark colored scheme:
Or you could customize your own colors for your desktop.
The services settings is an important one to look out for. It is here that you can hook up your bit.ly account (which is an API service)to your TweetDeck account. This allows you to look at all the statistics that go along with the links you tweet or post on your facebook and is a very, very useful tool in journalism.
Lastly, you can edit your accounts. You can add your Facebook page, LinkedIn account, Foursquare,etc.
The heart and soul of TweetDeck lies in the columns. When you first register for TweetDeck, you are set up with five different columns: All Friends, Mentions, Direct Messages, WorldWide Trends, and TweetDeck Recommends.
You can create your own columns and delete the standard columns as well if you would like. To create a column, click the + sign in the top left corner of the desktop. You can then click on "search".
Here you can search for names, locations, hashtags, topics, whatever you want and then create a column based off of those words. If you want to search for more than one word at a time you put "OR" in between the words. (for example: #NewPaltz OR "SUNY New Paltz")
You could also add a column by lists, in which you simply select which list you would like to make a column.
The last option to make a column is the Core selection. This is a bunch of generic options including: all friends, direct messages, new followers, scheduled updates, etc.
Posting to your social media sites!
You can post up to 160 characters into the box at the top of the page. When you insert a link into the box, TweetDeck will automatically shorten it.
The great thing about TweetDeck is that it allows you to post to more than one social media site at one time. For example,if you look at the top left corner of the image below this, you will see two highlighted boxes (one for my Facebook and one for my Twitter). By clicking on both of those boxes, I will be publishing whatever I put into that box onto both of those sites.
You can also use TweetDeck to schedule updates. This is a very convenient tool for journalists who do not have much time to sit on a computer in order to post updates every hour on the hour. When you type whatever you want to post in the box at the top of the page, instead of clicking send, you click the button next to it. This will allow you to schedule a date and time for the post to be published. Just be careful! ...it is in military time.