I’ve found the one of the greatest strengths of Twitter is how easy it makes it to crowdsource your own personal network. From keeping tabs on what your contacts are doing and all the cool stuff they find, to being able to ask for help in real-time, Twitter is a great tool for helping you maintain your personal connections and strengthen them.
I often use Ping.fm to update my status/micro-blogs across multiple accounts all from one spot. This helped me maintain a profile across multiple networks through one interface. Well, when Ping.fm went down for a few days in October, I was suddenly at a loss on how to save time.
I decided to cut my losses, and focus on my Twitter account because, well, it’s the largest micro-blog network out there, and that’s where most of my contacts were. Suddenly, I was pulled into actually being social on Twitter. Of course, a disadvantage was how distracting it was to keep tabs on everything while I worked. Either I was constantly refreshing the page, or having to switch between windows to check updates through a Twitter desktop client.
Then I noticed how some people were updating via TwitterFox, and decided to check it out. TwitterFox is an add on for the Firefox browser that makes completely painless (and more time efficient) to be a Twitter-holic.
You simply install it on FireFox, give it your account info, and throughout your browsing session, there’s a blue Twitter icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your browser window. You can set the interval of when it pulls in the Tweets of your contacts, and whenever it does, they appear one at a time in small, unobtrusive bubbles in the bottom right-hand corner of your browser window. This lets you keep tabs on what your personal network is up to at a glance, while you continue to be productive online.
TwitterFox also lets you easily Tweet from your browser without leaving the page that you’re on. You simply click on the Twitter icon and a text box pops up, letting you type in whatever Tweet you have in mind. When that text box appears, there are also tabs for replies and direct messages, allowing you to have Tweet-based conversation with your contacts.
Essentially, having TwitterFox has not only made me more of a Twitter-holic, but it’s allowed to better crowd source my network, and be less distracted in doing so. By far, my favourite interwebs thing-a-ma-jigger in 2008.
Chris blogs at Gypsy Bandito. His most popular post this year was Choosing the Right Affiliate Marketing Partner. Thanks to his tips, Elmer the Elf is doing a roaring business in candycane shivs this year!