**Update October 6th, 2009 – A newer and up to date version of this blog post: Seesmic vs. TweetDeck – choosing your Twitter desktop client, revisited
I’ve been using Twhirl for few month now and I decided giving another Twitter desktop client application a chance. I picked TweetDeck and now I have them both running side by side on my laptop – lots of interruptions (but not for long).
For the Twitter users who did not choose yet a Twitter client application here is my report. By the way I can’t see myself using the Twitter web application. When I’m using Twitter I need it here and now:)
I will only describe the differences, feature-wise, between the two applications. You can assume the rest to be the same.
Features that are in TweetDeck and not in Twhirl:
- Trending topics – TweetDeck is using TwitScoop for that. I think that this is a great feature that can help following Twitter rapidly changing agenda in near real-time
- Integration with 12 seconds – not a deal breaker for me
- Multiple views – All tweets, Replies and Direct messages, TwitScoop in the same window – this is true if you maximize the screen – I have few more application running on my computer so this does not work for me. I was not a fan of the sliding sub windows also.
- Grouping – it took me some time to understand how it works and the value of this feature. Maybe “Groups” is misnomer and it should be called TweetView or View. This feature allows you to create a new sub window (I think that tabs should work better in this case) watching tweets from only subset of the people that you follow on Twitter. I liked this feature but the window real-estate management should be fixed.
- Mark as read – this sounds like a good idea yet Twitter is too fast for me to start chasing tweets marking them as read. Twhirl has mark all as read – I don’t use it either.
- Search – This is not just user search but a full search engine like Twitter Search (aka Summize) so it is really cool. TweetDeck also kept monitoring the search term as long as the search result window is open – like RSS feed. I have the same complain here: if there is no room for the search result window it will be shoved all the way to the right and be hidden until you scroll for it . I first thought that the search did not work.
- Timeframe – you can control the timeframe up to 48 hours
Features that are in Twhirl and not in TweetDeck
- Multiple accounts – a window per each – this is a deal breaker for me I need a client for both my personal account @kerendg and my other @BlogMon account (for a small mashup application that I wrote).
- FriendFeed client – I can get my FriendFeed updates using Twhirl – this is a deal breaker
- Twhirl support also Seesmic, Identi.ca, and Laconi.ca – I have a Sessmic account but I’m not so much of a vloger.
- Friends/followers view – you can see the list of all your friends and followers with some of their profile details
- Window organization – it is amazing how much functionality and information is condensed in such a small window’s area. It is not all out there like in TweetDeck but is is very close and does not take a lot of space on my desktop.
- Favorite – I did not find the favorite view on TweetDeck it is available on Twhirl. I don’t use it much but I think that others do. Maybe we will see someday a Twitter public favorites section, keeping good tweets for the long run shared by multiple twitter users. Twittelicius?
- Elaborate configurations – Twhirl offers setting multiple preferences for the client window behavior and visual effects. It provides multiple configurations around notifications and the API usage.
Performance – both applications perform well getting tweets to my desktop and notifying me about the message arrival and type (tweet, reply or direct message). It did feel like Twhirl was more responsive to my clicks than TweeDeck.
I liked the capability seeing the Trending Topics and to able searching right there using TweetDeck. I also think that creating different views has value (e.g. one for the people I usually interact with and one for the rest). Yet, till I can run multiple Twitter account I’m still a Twhirl fan. I also recommend TweetDeck rethinking their windows layout. Maybe tabs inside multiple sub windows.
I hope that you’ll find this information useful choosing your Twitter desktop client.
Inspired by Being John Malkovich movie
Context: The objective of this fictional short story is not to share my wannabe ambitions (guilty) but to emphasize closeness and influence. In my opinion as we adopt social media tools for personal and work objectives we can get closer as if we share a single mind powered by many brains. Communication between people is a miracle. An effective communication between individuals is a phenomenon. Today, communication on the web happens more frequently than ever before.
Some bloggers influence so many of us that it is possible to recognize their tone of voice and content from other corners of the web. There is nothing wrong about it since these voices are on the good side of the fence, leading the way. It could be yet another form of closeness – identifying with.
Being Chris Brogan – the story
Blogmon, the application that I built for monitoring Technorati ranks progress over time, was acting all week long. The numbers where all over the place. The tracing shows lots of errors coming from Technorati web service. I was getting a little agitated and finally when I started seeing weird rank numbers I decided to pay the web site a visit. I decided to look at the Top 100 blogs page first. As I was scrolling down just above the 8th blog from the top (Official Google Blog) and below the 7th place (Ars Technica) there was an additional narrow but obvious blank line. The distance between the two blogs seems off. Then I felt my hand suddenly moving the mouse as if I have no control over it, and as the cursor was hovering over this blank space I noticed that a yellow small font text become visible. The mouse cursor was now away so the text become invisible again. This time I moved the mouse intentionally and kept the cursor on the yellow text. To my astonishment the text in yellow and italic font said: 7.5. “Chris Brogan life-stream portal”. With a shaking right finger I clicked the link. Suddenly the bluetooth light at the bottom right end corner of my laptop flashed with purple light. The Wireless Network Connection icon at the task bar started blinking and Technorati page turned pitch black. I was sure I was attacked by an extremely powerful and distractive virus. After few seconds sitting frozen on my chair with what that looked like a turned off computer I touched (hesitantly) the laptop mouse touchpad.
The computer slowly turned on but the feel was as if I’m controlling another computer through remote access. It is more accurate to say that I was not really in control at that time, someone else was moving the mouse and clicking on all sort of desktop objects and I was only the observer. That got me even more paranoid thinking about worms and other goodies from the world wide web – why did I clicked the obviously suspicious link?? Just as I was about to go to the Start button (I run XP on my laptop) to shutdown the computer I noticed that it was running Mac OS. More than that I noticed that I was starring at Chris Brogan blog while someone was answering multiple comments using the @mrX and @msY notation. I did not know what to do so I just sat there and watched the hectic activity, after few minutes I could only reach one conclusion. I’m watching thee one at work. That’s when I decide to un-mute my laptop speakers. A soft voice speaking almost without taking a breath started coming through the speakers. “25 ways to help the world using social media”, “50 ways to find your destiny using your blog”, “how to show your appreciation to the community”. Now, I was really freaked out!! I’m not just watching him I’m inside his brain!!!.
But before I had the time to digest all of this, a new window popped up and I could recognized Twhirl the Twitter Desktop client. The mouse clicked first the @ button looking for recent replies (there were 6 new ones) then the envelop button (there where 300 direct messages – poor guy). I could now hear the answers before they were typed although the typing followed in a speed that I did not even know possible. I or Chris or both started answering to some of the Twitter replies from @cspenn, @jeffpulver, and @jowyang. I haven’t touched my mouse now for more than 12 minutes but it felt like my brain was carried for a ride as if it was co-pilot on a combat jet plan.
Twhirl through Twitter sent us following several links recommended by friends, fans and followers. We left a couple of comments here and there (backtype helps to refresh my memory). We shouted out other’s Tweets to share the sharable. Then after 20 minutes I got a “network failure” message. The OS changed back to Windows and the browser was loading one of those splog that copies other people work using a bot, planted with lots of AdSense ads all around - a real beauty. It was then 2am and my brain was shut. I closed the computer and went to bed.
Tomorrow I will try and see if I can join the cognitive flow and shout out some of my favorite blog posts on Twitter… I heard that when Chris does it, it could do miracle to the web-site traffic:)
I recived 18 trackbacks (and counting) to my List of 10 blogging patterns you can discover using Google Analytics post.
These are not blog reactions!!!
I guess that using the word SEO or Analytics in blog post is a kind of Splogs Bots Optimization (SPO?) .
They all share the same IP though!!!
- 107 | website.easywebmarketingresources.com | IP: 126.96.36.199
Search Engine Ranking
- 75 | seo-tools.seotoolsandresources.com | IP: 188.8.131.52
Great Website Optimization
- 70 | keywords.easywebmarketingresources.com | IP: 184.108.40.206
Great Seo Optimization
August 1, 2005 — [...]…
- 51 | website.onlinemarketingsecretssite.com | IP: 220.127.116.11
What is a HD televisi [...]…
- 92 | seo-service.seotoolsnresources.com | IP: 18.104.22.168
Great Pay Per Click
It is safe to say that [...]…
- 29 | seo-company.internetwealthdiary.com | IP: 22.214.171.124
? SEO [...]…
- 67 | seo-service.marketingblogsite.com | IP: 126.96.36.199
Great Seo Tools
October 16, 2007 ̵ [...]…
- 54 | seo-training.seotoolsnresources.com | IP: 188.8.131.52
Great Search Engine
May 30, 2007 — G [...]…
- 112 | web-site.seotoolsandtips.com | IP: 184.108.40.206
Terry Ryder has develo [...]…
- 49 | seo-expert.seoproductspro.com | IP: 220.127.116.11
Helpful Free Seo
June 2, 2008 — S [...]…
- 65 | web-site.easyonlinewealthblog.com | IP: 18.104.22.168
What is a laptop? [...]…
- 108 | keywords.seotipsandresources.com | IP: 22.214.171.124
Helpful Seo Optimization
August 1, 2005 — [...]…
- 53 | keywords.seosecretsblog.com | IP: 126.96.36.199
Great Search Engine Optimization Companies Info And More
- 59 | seo-service.seoblogexpertonline.org | IP: 188.8.131.52
Helpful Free Seo
? SEO [...]…
- 94 | marketing.easywebmarketingresources.com | IP: 184.108.40.206
Helpful Seo Expert
Tips – Welcome
July 1, 2008 — W [...]…
- 50 | seo-company.seosecretsblog.com | IP: 220.127.116.11
Great Search Engine Marketing
F.A.Q.S And More
March 14, 2008 — [...]…
- 42 | seo-tools.hotmarketingaffiliate.info | IP: 18.104.22.168
Informative Website Optimization
Bringing well targeted [...]…
- 50 | seo-service.easyonlinewealthblog.com | IP: 22.214.171.124
At this point I can only thanks Askimet for capturing these.
Lately, I had the opportunity to examine the traffic source, content and keywords using Google Analytics for AltSearchEngines, a professional blog with heavy traffic and blog activities. Because this blog already has tons of traffic and few years of historical data I had enough depth of information to discover interesting blogging patterns. The specific blog structure is a single blog with multiple authors what that make using Google Analytics even more interesting. I’m not an expert in web analytics or SEO but I want to share some of my findings and I hope to hear and learn more from other web analytics users. In this post I also share some ideas for improving Google Analytics interface, those could make it even easier to detect some of the discussed patterns. Finally, I offer some ideas to act upon these patterns for improving future traffic.
Looking for patterns using Google Analytics
- Right now I’m using the blog URL convention (date) to isolate Information for posts that were posted during the selected duration.E.g. looking at the traffic during September 08 contributed by posts that were only posted during that same month. Today Google Analytics shows traffic for all the posts on this blog for the selected duration and it requires some work to isolate the new posts from the old one in order to see how they contribute to the selected duration traffic. Why is this important? Pattern # 1 progress – does your content gets better? Maybe the traffic is all based on old success. The inverse – same as #1 but for old post s- i.e. show me the traffic for the past month excluding posts posted in the last month. It would be great if Google Analytics can do that for you.
- I use spreadsheet to separate traffic for “generic” pages only- i.e. the home page, RSS button, page number etc… Why is this important? Each item on the blog other than blog posts has different importance and objective behind it so isolating these can help to fine tune each individually. It is also good to know if people are finding the root folder (i.e. your home page) maybe using bookmarks or blogrolls. Pattern #2 – are you building a great brand name? The inverse is interesting too - exclude “generic” pages from the report and allow focusing on blog’s posts impact only. It would be great if Google Analytics can do that for you.
- Support for blogs with multiple authorsor blog with many guest bloggers (not blog network). It will be a great help if you could see who is the blogger, in Google Analytics, next to the blog post traffic info. This could be automated (using a certain standardized way telling Google who wrote this post). Why is this important? Pattern #3 – finding the best bloggers on the team and learning from them.It could be the content, the style, the keywords, the community that these bloggers are building. I’m sure that this is useful in blog network too, yet over there it is easier to isolate bloggers traffic because each has his own domain name.
- Daily traffic – hourly – higher granularity. Currently if you want to see daily traffic you have to change the date to today. There is no way to see hourly traffic. I wish there was a separate page for daily traffic and the resolution is in hours. Why is this important? Pattern # 4 – timing the post – if you noticed that your recent post is just great, you may want to leave it a little longer on the top of the blog. You may find that one social media site like StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, Twitter, FriendFeed and more works better during different hours. It could also help learning when not to post (hint: 5pm eastern time during the work week:)).
- Pattern #5 – lost opportunities or finding hidden gems – Finding your best historical stuff (not traffic based) from the time that you were less known as a great blogger or with smaller supportive community around you – looking for pages with the highest Time on Page and the smallest Bounce Rate yet low traffic. Just be careful, not to judge too soon. If there was not a lot of traffic the Time On Page number may be high – Google average it, so too small of traffic may keep this number high. Once you find a post that match this pattern try stumbling it.
- Page view per visit- Google provide this number and you can track it over time. It shows if users stay longer on your web site reading more blog posts or leave quickly to find other more interesting blogs out there. It is important to build links between relevant blog posts on your blog (not excessively though). For blogs with multiple authors this is a real challenge. How other bloggers can see what to link to? This is when categories helps. If the team has visibility to exiting blog posts in each category, then they can think about how their post should be categorized, and then look for relevant blog posts to link to. Google Analytics can help here too, if it has access to the categorization information then it could show the success of one category over the other. If not then it would be great to annotate blog posts row’s with more info (having custom properties) . Pattern #6 – content type (category) success.It is also important showing blog’s recent and best posts on the sidebar, so the users can easily find them. The blog performance is another factor! People will not hang around slow web-site.
- Keywords- there is a ton of data out there about this subject so I may repeat other’s finding. My first finding is that people love the word “list”. People love list but they really like this word in the title more than “best” (I think that Google hate this word). I could not resist using the word “list” for this post title:) People like to see the benefit (value) from reading your blog post more than artistic titles, so “hot to” is a great start for a title. Speaking about titles it is important to think about them for the long run too.If you write about a company or product put the name in the title. Why? So, if someone will be looking for this company few month from now, using any search engine, there is a chance to find your blog. Simple, yet I do see the opposite happening even till this day. You’ll see the difference using Google Analytics very quickly. Some SEO experts tells you to optimize titles for the short run and then to modify them for the long run (beware from changing the permalinks) and Google Analytics can help telling you when is the right time to modify the title but I’m not sure if it will truly helps. I don’t think that Google come back to re-crawl this content. Pattern # 7 – keywords timing and tuning.By the way, blogs with multiple authors or blog networks that are providing training and guidelines can bring new bloggers up to speed quickly and avoid such simple mistakes.
- US vs. the rest of the world – Google Analytics provides regional segmentation’s. You can see where your audience is coming from and how fast that region grows. So you can use this information to keep them engaged. For instance European use Jaikumore than Twitter so post updates from your blog over there and build community on Jaiku if this is your target audience. This is true for other social networks too (e.g. Facebook is very weak in Japan). Write content about local products, news and companies relative to the regional success – pattern # 8.
- The right traffic source allocation and effort.Google Analytics dissect traffic into three categories: Direct Traffic, Referring sites, and Search Engines.As a blogger most of your impact is in the Referring web sites category. Especially in the beginning. This is where your work, building readers community is the key to your success. Again, Google Analytics shows you where your traffic is coming from and where it lands (landing pages). For blog with multiple authors (or for blogs network) it would be great to see the contribution by author, to reward the ones that expend their readership in this way. pattern #9 – are bloggers on the team growing their community? The Traffic Source percentage allocation can also tell you where you should invest your effort. It is different from case to case though e.g. if your blog talk about products (and sell them or use advertise on your blog for selling them) then SEO using the right keywords is the most important activity and the traffic source allocation should reflect that. For most other cases you should divide your time something like 30% reading other blogs or experimenting with tools, product, services, projects, 30% writing content and devote 30% of your time for community building. I really like to hear some feedback about this suggested allocation.
- mmmmnm, do I have to come up with the tenth? …OK, Pattern # 10 – what activities are helping you to find new readers?Google Analytics shows you two visitors types – new and returning. Look for what is it that you are doing bringing new users to the site. StumbleUpon is a great option. You can try tagging your blog using different tags. There are numerous places to tag these days: WordPress, Technorati, StumbleUpon, Delicious to name a few. Check hashtags.orgfor most popular and recently added hashtags. You can Digg posts under different categories (business vs. technology). You can use TwitterPack and Twellow for finding people from different categories and sub-categories to follow, so they can follow you back, then build new relationships. You can comment on blogs from different categories (using Technorati and recently the revised Google Blog Search). You can use backtypeto see where bloggers leave comments and follow their actions. Keep checking Google Analytics to see what works and how the new visitors vs. returning, percentage changes.
There are more capabilities in Google Analytics than described in here; like finding broken links, specific browser and OS optimizations and exit pages to name a few. I have a lot more to learn but I think that what’s in here are some of the more interesting patterns that you could discover using Google Analytics in the first few weeks using it.
Small disclosure: I work for a company that sells web analytics product but I don’t work with that team and I know very little about it.
Lately, I’m spending more and more of my time on the neighbor’s court than on mine . I’m looking at some of the alternative search engines out there and then write my observations on AltSearchEngines blog. I do plan to write more here and I have a backlog of post waiting to be written, yet…
I like to participate writing for AltSearchEngines blog for multiple reasons. First, becuase there is a great mission behind this blog. Alts is helping the small start-ups which are taking on such a challenging tasks like: organizing infinite amount of information on the web, finding relevant results, building interactive web-sites, fighting on traffic from Google and tons of other alternative search engines. I also like the stage, ASE gets way more traffic than my humble little blog. It is also new for me to write with other team members and Alts has a dream team. I’m learning a lot, I had an opportunity to examine the traffic on ASE using Google Analytics. AltSearch engine is ranked by Alexa in the top 100,000 blogs. It is very different looking at ASE, a blog with tones of traffic and multi contributors, than looking at a small single owner blog like mine. When you have that kind of rich data you can actually find interesting patterns and then to come up with suggestions for improving readers’ engagement. I’m also learning a lot from Charles Knight a professional blogger, smart, and kind fellow.
Here are my posts on Alts:
- Some of my thoughts about SemantiFind were used on this post.
- I wrote a post about a new social search engine under development in both Seoul, Korea and Austin, TX, Tusavvy. Here is a recent press release from Tusavvy posted on AltSearchEngines where they announce that they are going into beta.
- I lately asked if LinkedIn should buy Twellow? Both services help finding people and keeping up with career changes. Twellow provides real-time pulse checking from different industries because it is build on top of Twitter and I though that Twellow can add some color to the corporate grayness of LinkedIn.
I’m not sure about my level of participation at AltSearchEngine going forward but for now I enjoy being part of something bigger than a blog and blog post. Traffic, and money are all important and I like to see growth in each one of them going forward one way or another, but building new relationships, learning (a ton) and helping small companies has it charm too.
My biggest revelation about blogging, in the 10 month that I’m doing it, is that my blog become the door to multiple communities and exciting opportunities. At this point, I get far more satisfaction seeing new Twitter follower, friend’s invitation request, or new comment on my blog post (no matter where it is posted at) than more page views.
In these times when making money from blogging is questionable but blogging is in your blood I think that it is best to focus on other ways for blogging contributing to both the community and your personal development.