Friday, March 21, 2014

My next phase in mobile tweeting... iphone with @tweetlist

This is not a review; I am not qualified to judge mobile hardware, mobile software, or mobile anything.

I'm just relating my preliminary views on this next phase on which I'm embarking.

I became active in blogging and social media starting in 2004, although I joined LinkedIn in 2003. The whole time since then almost all of my social networking and social media activity has been on a desktop. I didn't migrate from blackberry until 5 years ago or so, and then I went to a series of Android phones.

I went in the Android direction because I don't like Apple any more than I like Microsoft, and Android seemed to provide a more open world in which to function. But each of my Android phones was a disappointment to me. They seemed to never have battery power whenever I was about to actually use them for something; they seemed to shut off all the time, and act unstably. So, since I take my Twitter seriously, I never really got much tweeting done on the smartphone, instead sticking almost entirely with my desktop, and sort of envying those who could easily travel in both worlds.

The other day I switched to iphone, and found it to be a better machine in a lot of ways than any android I possessed. It's smaller, fits in the pocket; it's faster and more powerful; you can actually shut applications off easily and save power, and set them not to restart unasked. It even feels more solid.

Since Twitter was the thing I was most interested in accessing with it, my big question was which Twitter iphone app to use. For my style of tweeting the key things I was looking for were: (a) the ability to do "classic" or "traditional" or real retweets, as opposed to Twitter's fake pseudo-retweets misnamed "native" retweets (in case you don't know what I'm talking about, it's all explained here); (b) the ability to easily access lists, because I follow a lot of people, and use lists to organize my reading into manageable groups instead of a single timeline that goes by too fast to pay proper attention to people; (c) speed, power, and simplicity, which I have found are 3 different aspects of the same thing in the computer world; (d) flexibility in picking my url shortener; and (e) a long tweet extender.

On desktop I use Twitter's tweetdeck for chrome, which isn't as perfect as the real tweetdeck was, but is ok; it falls short for me because it gives me no real choice of url shorteners, and doesn't support a long tweet extender.

So I tried a bunch of things, twitter for iphone, tweetcaster, tweetbot, hootsuite, ubersocial, and tweetlist. The one that fit my style the best was tweetlist... tweetlist 4, to be exact.

1. It enables me to do traditional retweets; I just have to click "retweet with comment". And it does it in a very elegant way, because once you've clicked that, the "RT" is inserted for you and the cursor positions itself one space to the left of the RT.... i.e., all you need to do is click "send" (and in case you want to add something to the tweet, you're ready to rumble, no need to move the cursor anywhere at all, just type).

2. It's very easy to access your lists, as there's a "TweetLists" icon at the bottom; click that and you're in business on reading your lists. If you swipe to the left or to the right, you move to the next list. [I used tweetlist to create a "sent" column, so I could check my own tweets, like I could on my profile page. I did this by making a private Twitter list called "sent", and then, on tweetlist, added myself as the list's only member]

3. The application is very simple, not fancy, and as a result is fast and powerful. When I press the top of the screen to get to the top of a list it's instantaneous.

4. I was able to pick and choose among 6 URL shorteners, including my personal favorite, (If you're particular about your photo service, Tweetlist gives you twelve to choose from; I'm such a newbie at using a mobile device for cool things like sharing pictures, I wouldn't even know which one to pick, but I'm sure I'll eventually come to appreciate the element of choice).

5. I was given the option of auto expanding oversized tweets, and even given a choice of 2 different services with which to do it... twitlonger and twtmore.

So I'm liking Twitterlist 4.

I think it cost $2.99. I'm definitely a satisfied customer.

If you have any wisdom to share on the subject of mobile tweeting, would love to hear it, and will try to soak up whatever I can learn.

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