This is post is now quite old and the the information it contains may be out of date or innacurate.
It seems the Twitter phenomenon is growing.
I had personally written it off as just another timewasting social system and not something that I should be tinkering with on work time. However after reading various blogs and forum posts about it, it seems that people are finding legitimate business uses for Twitter. So I have decided to dive in and find out what its all about.
The first thing I did was to sort out my profile page and try to make it match the aesthetic of my site. Not being a designer that basically meant changing some of the colours and leaving it at that. I also uploaded a profile photo so its not that “I’m on drugs” face which is the default.
After that I browsed around a bit and added a few people who are on some of the forums I frequent. The next day I arrived at an inbox overflowing with Twitter notices, so I turned those off. The thing that first struck me about twitter is that is not so much a web site as an architecture or a service. It’s entirely possible to use twitter without even touching a web browser.
Having recently been to the PHP UK 2009 conference where a guy from Adobe gave a talk on their new Flex and AIR technologies I decided to give Tweet Deck a try. This is an Adobe AIR application that has some good reviews and is generally designed to make handling Twitter nice and easy from the desktop.
FYI – in a nutshell, AIR is a system that Adobe have created to allow web application developers (people like me) to use their skills to create something that can run both on the web (Flex or AJAX) and also on the desktop (AIR) – but basically using the same code.
Getting it up and running on 64bit Linux was not totally straightforward, but a quick search discovered this blog post that in turn pointed me at these instructions. 5 minutes later and Tweet Deck is up and running.
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