Posts Tagged "monitoring"

Tweetdeck vs Seesmic (Why I Use Seesmic, for now).

Posted by on Aug 5, 2009 in marketing, opinion, socialmedia

Tweetdeck is touted as the go-to Twitter desktop application, and now with an apparently fantastic iPhone app to match, it will probably become even more widespread.

That said, I only use TweetDeck on my backup computer.  Day to day I use Seesmic, and keep TweetDeck on backup so that I keep on top of any updates to the program as they are released.

Here is my point for point breakdown of these two solutions, as a (higher ed) marketer:

What they both offer …

Both offer a nice little text area where you can type your proposed tweet and then submit.  Both offer character count downs, both have a visual cue for when the tweet has gone past the available 140 characters.

Both have columns for Friends’ Timeline, Replies and Direct Messages.

Both allow one-click re-tweeting directly from the timeline.

Both support short URL services (i.e. bit.ly) and photo services (i.e. twitpic).

Both let you add your Facebook account & view your Facebook friends’ updates within the dashboard.

Look & Feel

Both applications look great.  My personal preference runs to Seesmic’s aesthetic, however TweetDeck actually gives you the option of customizing your interface colours to taste – which is nice.

Verdict: TweetDeck (more flexible)

Follow/Unfollow

Both offer one-click follow/unfollow options straight from the avatar of another user.  Seesmic seems to connect the new follow to whatever account found it.  For example, if a mention from @username gets pulled into the dashboard by account1 (i.e. @username tweeted something that included @account2) and I click to follow this user who apparently talks about me, Seesmic adds @username as a followee of @account1.  If I have more than one account, I may want to follow @username from more than one of my accounts – or I may want to follow it from @account2 because I tend to use @account2 more often. Another example would be if i have @corporateaccount and @anonymousaccount, there are certain people that I would probably prefer to follow from @anonymous account versus the official corporate one.

Tweetdeck, on the other hand, pops up a lightbox asking which account(s) youwould like to follow from. (Yes, I said account(s)! You can follow from multiple accounts in the same number of steps it would take to follow from just one account – no do overs).

Verdict:  Tweetdeck

Interacting with Other Users

Anytime you type “@” or “d “, Tweetdeck pops up a lightbox user list for you to select from.  For example, if I want to reply to a tweet that I have just read, all I have to do is click reply (on both Tweetdeck and Seesmic).  If I want to direct a tweet to someone off the top of my head, Tweetdeck gives me a list of users to pick from whereas Seesmic requires me to remember character for character what their username is.  And the Tweetdeck user list filters down if you begin to type characters of the person’s username – similar to Facebook’s search boxes.

Verdict: Tweetdeck

Managing Your Community

Both Tweetdeck and Seesmic let you lump the people you follow into groups, so you can choose to just view local friend tweets, colleague tweets or tweets by those who share your fanatic love of knitting.

Creating a group in Tweetdeck:

Click to create, type name, check off the users you would like to include from a check list of all users you follow.

Creating a group in Seesmic:

Click to create, type the name, and then one by one you go through your Friends’ timeline and click their menu/options and then Add to Userlist, then select the desired userlist from a dropdown list.  If you want to add them to more than one userlist, you have to repeat the process.

Sub-Verdict: Tweetdeck

Managing a group on Tweetdeck:

Can’t remember if @summerbff is in  a particular list? Open that group and scroll through the list of every user you follow (alphabetically) and see if there is a checkmark beside @summerbff.

Is it getting close to June and time to add @summerbff back into your favourite group? Open that group, scroll through the list of every user you follow (alphabetically) and check the box beside @summerbff. If you have more than one person that you want to add to a user group, it is easy to scroll through the list and add checks beside multiple users.

Managing a group on Seesmic:

Can’t remember if @summerbff is in a particular list? Select that list from your handy side column and then click the edit icon to see who is included in the group.  You can also change the group name from this screen.  There is also a nice little delete icon beside each user in the group, to enable one click exile if anyone has gotten filed in the wrong group (or has crossed a line such as accusing you of liking @summerbff more than @winterbff and is now in your bad book).

Time to add @summerbff to a group in Seesmic? Click the menu for that user, select Add to Userlist, and then pick the userlist from the drop down menu. If you have more than one person you want to add to a user group, you need to repeat the entire process.

Verdict: Seesmic (I like adding people in a single click, versus scrolling through giant lists every time, I also like being able to delete multiple users from the group edit screen, and being able to change the group name).

Facebook Integration

Both are equally limited in that neither allows you to add multiple Facebook accounts, and neither allows you to add Facebook Pages.

Both pull in your Facebook friends’ status updates.

Seesmic lets you “like”, “comment” and add to your seesmic user groups.

Tweetdeck lets you either retweet or email (through your default email client) a friend’s status.  It also shows you whether the user is online and allows you to activate a Facebook chat with the person in a new window – neat!

Neither pulls over your Facebook friend groups.

Verdict: Seesmic (because who wants to email a Facebook status to someone?)

Potential

Seesmic won me over with constant upgrades.  The application isn’t perfect, but fixes and new features get added almost weekly.  Plus, Seesmic emails me when new upgrades are ready and makes me feel special as part of their supporters team. Plus, when I tweet about Seesmic (pros or cons), one of their many corporate accounts usually replies to me within the day and offers help.  Plus, their communications constantly reference user requested features or user reported bugs, which reinforces the impression that they are truly developing according to the community’s needs.

Tweetdeck doesn’t so much update.  Correct me if I am wrong, but since January 2009 I believe there have been 3 or less (I can only remember 1 for sure) update to Tweetdeck. Once, a new version of Seesmic started crashing on me everytime I used it, but at least a new version came out within days! If Tweetdeck doesn’t suit my needs, I don’t have a lot of hope that things will change in as quick a fashion.  And I have never received any communication, mass or otherwise, from Tweetdeck. Ever. I hear about it on mashable.com and when I bother opening the program and get an upgrade prompt.

Verdict: Seesmic

Managing Multiple Accounts

This is a big one for anyone using Twitter professionally.  Both applications allow you to add multiple accounts, and to view replies, directs and friend timelines from each.  Seesmic does this great thing where it puts all my friends tweets (regardless of account) into a single column.  It puts all my replies/mentions (regardless of account) into another column.  And, it puts all my direct messages (regardless of account) into yet another column.  In order to make sure my organization is up to date on any outstanding replies or direct messages, I have to read two columns (replies and directs).

On Tweetdeck, I can pick and choose which accounts’ friends, replies and directs are shown but the huge disadvantage is that each accounts’ replies are pushed into their own column.  This is the same with direct messages, and with friend timelines.  For example, if I want to check for new replies/directs from four accounts, Seesmic makes me read 2 columns and Tweetdeck makes me read 8.

If I want to read new tweets from users that I follow, Seesmic aggregates them into a single column for me (I can choose to filter by account if I want to) and Tweetdeck makes me read a column for every account I own.

Verdict – Seesmic (hands down)

Usability & Conclusion

For day to day use, Tweetdeck really takes the prize in every department except for managing user groups and multiple accounts.  It is easier to address messages to other users in Tweetdeck; it’s easier to address tweets to other users without having to remember their usernames; it’s easier to create a list and populate it with multiple users.  I also find it easier to select which account(s) to tweet from much smoother and intuitive on Tweetdeck.

That said, as a marketer, I follow a lot of users from a lot of different walks of life.  Being able to easily swap them in and out of user groups wins over being able to easily create a group in the first place.

Also, between 9 and 5, I am there to get a job done. Being able to scan two columns and return to my task at hand confident that I haven’t missed anything beats carefully reading 8 columns any day of the week.  8 columns that next week will be 10 columns, and then 20 columns – whereas the Seesmic approach will always be just 2.

Another workplace downside to Tweetdeck is the lack of notification options. Turn them on, or turn them off. Seesmic’s are a little more flexible – I’ve been able to tone them down to a workable level whereas Tweetdeck’s full force or nada approach is too intrusive for my workday.

Tweetdeck has some forward thinking features – such as Facebook chat integration.  And the ability to create a tweetdeck.com account and carry your setup from computer to computer (rather than adding all your accounts to every computer you use, creating user groups on every computer you use, setting up your dashboard on every computer you use), is fantastic.  In the end, it doesn’t win over Seesmic’s aggregation of information across accounts – and until it does, Tweetdeck = #FAIL.

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eduWEB 2009: “I can do THAT with Google?” by @bradjward, blue fuego

Posted by on Jul 21, 2009 in conference, higher ed

Presenter: Brad J Ward, CEO – Blue Fuego

Abstract: I will walk through many of Google’s services and products and show attendees how they can use them to increase productivity within their workplace as well as provide a better experience for their website visitors.Sites featured include, but are not limited to, Google Docs, Maps, Alerts, Webmaster Tools, YouTube, Analytics, Forms, GTalk/GChat, Blogger and more.

Notes during presentation …

Recommended Reading: Free, Chris Anderson

First step: get a Google account that you will use for all of this …

Thought: stop and think whether other staff will ever need access – should you create a corporate Google account instead of using your personal one?

Next: set up Google Alerts – great way to get buzz about your institution.

Thought: I am almost anti-google-alerts … relying too heavily on it can cause you to miss a lot of important web content/buzz.  Remember to regularly search your brand (you’ll be shocked by how much didn’t show up in your alerts).

Brad’s Experience: Brad found out that Butler’s $13K mascot costumes had been stolen via a Google Alert.  Caught it early enough to hitch a ride with the buzz and blow tweets and youtube out of the water, even get mass media attention.

Thought: Best practice is to track down specific mentions of your brand, individual applicants commenting about their school decision.  Don’t try to do this for every social mention. Just don’t. Catch what you reasonably can, but unless you have a social army, it’s not realistic to respond to every tweet, blog post, facebook note, discussion thread. If you end up getting them all – great, but don’t hate on yourself for getting 90%.

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All Twittered Out: Monitoring the Buzz 0

All Twittered Out: Monitoring the Buzz

Posted by on Apr 7, 2009 in Uncategorized

“Monitoring the Buzz” is part two of the series “All Twittered Out,” in progress.

Realizing that we’ve lost control of our own brands is one of the first steps towards joining “the rest of us” in the new world of communications.  The next step is realizing that while you are no longer an all-powerful brand lord, you can still be an all-seeing, all-knowing brand guardian.

Monitoring helps keep your brand as safe as possible, and also gives you the knowledge you need in order to work the groundswell to your advantage.  Ignoring the marketing potential and the opportunities for new relationships, Twitter would still be an essential tool in your aresenal.  A Twitter monitoring strategy can report every time the keywords of your choice are “tweeted,” allowing you to move on, respond or start damage control.  It is also a great tool for knowing which issues are your hottest ticket to a flood of viral traffic.  If you are seeing an increase in hits for your keywords, you know that the community is saying something and that your brand has a part of the attention.  Put out official content on your web, social network profiles, your own twitter account etc, and you’ve just tapped into the web-wide public conversation that is Twitter.

Test the Waters

Go to Twitter.com and search for your brand, your name, etc. If you find results, you will want to make this a regular routine (daily, weekly, etc). If you are a user of RSS, you can actually subscribe to the search results and have them delivered through your RSS reader (Google Reader, NewsGator, Bloglines, etc).

Search for "Kelloggs" shows real time comments across the network.

Search for "Kelloggs" shows real time comments across the network.

RSS feed of Twitter Search results for "Kelloggs."

RSS feed of Twitter Search results for "Kelloggs."

For those who want to take social monitoring to the next level, there are several desktop and web-based applications that can help streamline the process:

Yahoo! Sidelines

Yahoo! Sidelines is a new Adobe Air application that will provide pop-up onscreen notifications any time your specified keywords show up on Twitter. You do not need to have a twitter account in order to use this service – just download and plug in the keywords you would like to track.

TweetDeck

TweetDeck is another free Adobe Air application that provides onscreen notifications not only of multiple sets of keywords, but also direct messages, replies and posts from either specific groups of users or “All Friends.” TweetDeck is uses your Twitter account to bring you your friends’ posts, replies and messages and also allows you to post, reply or message right from the TweetDeck interface – no need to go to twitter.com.

TweetBeep.com

TweetBeep is a web-based service that will send you hourly updates of all your mentions and keywords. This is a great service if you have your email constantly running in the background and you would prefer not to add another background program such as Yahoo! Sidelines or TweetDeck to your work environment.

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Recommended Reading: April 3 ’09

Posted by on Apr 6, 2009 in reading

Thank you, Internet, for a very interesting week.

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