Friday, January 29, 2010

Thing 49. TweetDeck: Manage Twitter, Facebook, MySpace & LinkedIn Together

So you've signed up for Twitter and now the tweets are coming in fast and furious, people are mentioning you, you're getting direct messages, people are retweeting you, and maybe you even decided to have multiple accounts, a personal one and one professionally or for your business. Are you overwhelmed with how to follow it all? We have just the tool for you!

TweetDeck is free software you can download that will connect you to your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn accounts, all in one location. You can organize things from those accounts in different columns and you can even update your statuses in those accounts from TweetDeck.

TweetDeck also gives you the opportunity to monitor more than one Twitter account at a time. If you have a personal Twitter account and one for your business or group, save time and monitor them both through TweetDeck so you don't have to log in and out every time you access them on the web.

Get TweetDeck
Go to TweetDeck to download it and you will also be prompted to download Adobe Air if you do not already have it on your computer. You need Adobe Air for TweetDeck to work, so make sure to download it, too.

TweetDeck Beginnings
When you open TweetDeck you will be asked to log in. The first time you log into TweetDeck on a computer you need to set up your TweetDeck account, so below the username and password boxes, look for the sentence that reads: "If this is the first time you've used TweetDeck on this computer, click here," and follow those directions to log in.

The first time you use TweetDeck it will also prompt you to add your Twitter account. You can also add Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and additional Twitter accounts, too, by going to the Accounts tab in your Settings. The Settings button is on the top right-hand corner of TweetDeck, next to these other buttons you may need:

Buttons, from left to right:
1) Refresh
2) One column - makes TweetDeck smaller so you scroll left to right to see all columns
3) Settings
4) TweetDeck Support - brings you to the TweetDeck Support website
5) Log out
Another thing you'll probably want to do in your Settings is to turn off notifications and sounds. In TweetDeck you can have a box pop up every time something new is added to the columns you make (see more about columns below) and there is also a sound that can play to notify you of anything new. I disabled both of these things, and to do that just go to the Notifications tab in your Settings. There you can stop the notifications from popping up and you can turn the sound down to zero.

TweetDeck Columns
Once you're logged into TweetDeck it will look similar to this:

All the columns in TweetDeck are for something different in each of your accounts. You can have columns for friend updates in Twitter, status updates in Facebook, mentions in Twitter, or even for photo uploads in Facebook. Here are some tips in using TweetDeck columns:
  • To add columns, click on the plus symbol on the top left-hand corner of TweetDeck.
  • Multiple columns can be added for each account.
  • There is no limit on the amount of columns you can add.
  • To delete a column, move your mouse over the Twitter symbol or the Facebook symbol at the top of the column and you will see an X appear. Click the X to delete the column.
Updating Statuses
In TweetDeck you can update statuses in any of your accounts, like a new post in Twitter or your status update in Facebook. If you want the same text to be updated in multiple accounts, it's very easy to do. Here are some tips for updating your status:

  • To update your status, click on the yellow compose button on the top left-hand side of TweetDeck.
  • Choose which accounts you want to update with that status by clicking on their names.
  • Type your status and hit enter. Your status will be updated in the accounts you selected.
More TweetDeck
There are many additional things you can do in TweetDeck, so for more tips, check out some of these websites:
  • TweetDeck basics - This is a fabulous blog post about the basics of TweetDeck. Two videos are embedded in the blog, and I highly recommend watching them for step-by-step basics help, including different settings you may want to do, how to add and delete columns, and how to update your status.
  • TweetDeck Support page - TweetDeck's support forum where TweetDeck and users respond to questions
  • Unofficial TweetDeck forums - TweetDeck users answer forum questions
Mobile TweetDeck
If you use an iPhone or iTouch, TweetDeck can also be mobile. Check out all the information on how to get the TweetDeck app on the TweetDeck iPhone page.

Other Tools Like TweetDeck
TweetDeck isn't the only tool you can use to better manage Twitter and other accounts. Here's a list of some other tools you may want to check out:
If you really want to get into Twitter, the blog Big is the New Small has a list of Twitter tools & apps organized into handy lists: information gathering, network building & management, business & finance, Twitter management, sharing tools, health, organization & productivity, life tools, & blogging.

So, dig in & explore. Who knows? You may be the next star in the Twitterverse!
    By LeAnn Suchy, Metronet

      Wednesday, January 27, 2010

      Thing 48. Twitter: Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

      You’ve heard about Twitter, you’ve seen Twitter, and you’re either on the Twitter bandwagon or you’ve dismissed it. There seems to be no middle ground when it comes to those who love and hate Twitter, but since 23 Things on a Stick and More Things on a Stick, Twitter use has exploded. Professionals and businesses are tweeting, news is updated instantly on Twitter, celebrities connect with fans via Twitter, and almost any interest you have can be nourished with a variety of Twitter feeds. 

      Twitter can be a great professional development tool for you, so if you’re one of the people who dismissed Twitter because you heard it’s about people telling you what they had for breakfast, open your eyes to some of the ways Twitter is being used:

      Library professionals are on Twitter

      Twitter can be a social platform, but it can also be a professional one. Librarians are tweeting about programming, articles, books, events, lesson plans, and a host of other library-related topics. For lists of professionals to follow, check out: Libraries on Twitter, Librarians Twitter Directory, 100 Best Twitter Feeds for Librarians of the Future, and the list of librarians in the 23 Things on a Stick Ning who are in Twitter.

      Follow businesses of interest
      If you frequent certain businesses, chances are they have a Twitter feed. Do you use Ning social networks? Follow Ning to get status updates. Whole Foods tweets about happenings in their stores. Southwest tweets about flight updates and deals. If you use a lot of Google tools, follow them for update information. Or maybe it’s local businesses you want to follow, so get great coupons by following Punch Pizza in the Twin Cities. Use the Twitter account search to your advantage and find businesses of interest to you.

      Get news updates
      News is updated instantly on Twitter as you may have heard about during the Iranian elections. During the elections individuals in Twitter were posting news updates, but there are also news organizations doing the same thing, like Minnesota Public Radio, The New York Times, and American Libraries. Other organizations like The Huffington Post, ESPN, People Magazine, and The Onion have Twitter accounts, too. Check out this list of 100 Best Twitter Feeds for All Your News and Know How.

      Follow government feeds
      You may have heard about members of congress tweeting, some even getting in a little bit of trouble for what they tweet, and even a candidate running for Minnesota state senate had some problems, but there are some good government feeds to follow. The White House Twitter feed put together a list of different government agencies tweeting, like The Library of Congress, the Department of Education, and NASA. You can even follow certain NASA astronauts, like T.J. Creamer who recently posted the first tweet from space. 

      There are government feeds about certain things, too, like the Food and Drug Administration feed for food recalls or’s feed highlighting flu information. And, if you are interested in following members of congress, here’s a list of tweeting members, including our own Michele Bachmann and Keith Ellison.

      Local and state governments use Twitter, too. In the Twin Cities, St. Paul Public Works updates its Twitter feed with snow emergency information. Other jurisdictions also use Twitter, so check with your local government. Weather woes lately make following MNDot a good idea!

      Find book-related information
      We librarians are book lovers, so find out more about books through Twitter. Follow publishers, like Random House, Dark Horse Comics, Milkweed Editions, and Graywolf Press. Follow those writing about the book industry, like Publishers Weekly or The Library Journal. Maybe you need more book reviews, so try New York Times Books, LA Times Books, Just One More Book, and local reviewers like Minnesota Reads. Authors post interesting tweets, too, like Neil Gaiman, Meg Cabot, Chuck Palahniuk, and Kate Jacobs. Even book characters tweet! For more book-related tweets, look at the Directory of Book Trade People on Twitter and 100 Best Authors on Twitter.

      Take time for some laughs, too
      We do want you to think about using Twitter for professional development, but you should also take some time to laugh, right? These are some of our favorite, funny Twitter feeds: the whale on the ceiling of the Natural History Museum in New York City tweets; Fake AP Stylebook is priceless for any librarian who helps students with citations; Ben Franklin is tweeting through a 13-year-old Minnesota Historical Society volunteer; even Laura Ingalls Wilder is tweeting.

      We could go on and on and tell you about all the great people and organizations you can follow in Twitter, but why don’t you try searching for that which interests you. Just login to Twitter and click on the “Find People” link at the top and search for someone or something. Check out who your favorite Twitterers are following to get even more ideas for useful feeds. You might be pleasantly surprised at who or what you find. After all, even the Pope is promoting Twitter.

      Do you follow anyone we should follow? Let us know in the comments.

      By LeAnn Suchy, Metronet

      A New Year, a New Things!

      ...On a Stick, that is. This newsletter (and the Archive blog) is the 2010 version of 23 Things On a Stick. Each monthly issue of Things On a Stick News will highlight at least two new Things--a tool, a concept, an idea, whatever is happening now--or offer a new perspective on a previous Thing. Each Thing will be introduced in the newsletter and then linked to the News Archive blog for more information.

      In this version of Things On a Stick there are no blogging requirements, no deadlines, no checking in (no prizes either!). Just a lot of Things that will keep you up-to-date on how Web 2.0 tools can be used in libraries or at home for productivity, communication, organization, and more.
      The only sign-up is for the newsletter subscription.

      We do encourage comments on Things on this Archive blog. The 23 Things Ning is going strong, too, and is a great place for seeking support on the Things, asking questions, suggesting ways to use the tools, and other conversations.

      Things On a Stick News is sent monthly to your email--or you can follow the Archives blog from the homepage. Whatever you choose, we encourage you to participate via the comments, by email, and by sharing what you learn with us and your colleagues. Please forward Things On a Stick News to library staff you think would be interested.