Cool Tools: YoruFukurou, The Tweeted Times

Lately Twitter has been my main go-to tool for learning and connecting. It’s not a new tool by any means, but I don’t think I’ve ever made as much use of it as I have lately; even when I haven’t tweeted much, I have followed lots of interesting folks and learned a great deal.

I wanted to share two tools that make using Twitter easier for me. The first is a Mac app called YoruFukurou that I first heard about from Audrey Watters on Twitter. “YoruFukurou” is Japanese for “NightOwl.” Ever since Nambu pretty much gave up the ghost, I had been looking for an app that was as clean as Nambu and also gave me an unread messages count for my lists as well as my main Twitter feed. The unread messages aspect was crucial, and other clients just don’t have it (for some reason). YoruFukurou actually has Nambu beat. As far as I know, the creators still have no plans to develop YoruFukurou for Windows, but if you have a Mac, and you’ve been looking for a good Twitter client, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The other tool, much newer to me, I found via Danah Boyd on Twitter. Boyd linked to a post on the First Five Tumblr in which she shared the first five websites she visits each day. I had toyed with the idea of creating a Twitter paper before, but I wasn’t sure about it. On a lark, I tried out The Tweeted Times, since it was on Boyd’s list, and I love it. I can set it up to tweet my top stories daily at a time of my choosing. Also, I can set it to tweet my top story whenever it changes. It figures out what my top stories are based on what the people I follow—my “friends”—tweet, and what my “friends of friends” tweet. On one hand, this might be kind of risky because it relies a bit on the wisdom of the crowd, but if you follow smart people, it seems to work. The advantage of having a Tweeted Times is that I don’t miss some stories I previously might have missed. I can also tweet links from the stories within the paper itself. I can subscribe to others’ papers, too. I suppose that Paper.li works much the same way. Can anyone who has used both give me a comparison of features? I’m trying to decide if it’s worthwhile to go ahead and sign up for both (but I don’t want to annoy Twitter followers either).

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I Found a Twitter Client

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you might recall I have been looking for a Twitter client to replace Nambu, which stopped developing their software. I tried out Seesmic, HootSuite, and TweetDeck. I tried out the native Twitter client. None of them did everything I wanted. Most of them did some of the things I wanted. The main thing I needed was a way to see an unread messages count, and preferably also see an unread messages count by list organization. I had frankly despaired of being able to find something, when I saw this tweet by Audrey Watters:

Audrey Watters

Well, I decided it didn’t hurt to check it out, especially because it’s free. I downloaded it from the App Store, and I have been loving it. It offers unread message counts, and I can add new tabs for any lists I also want to monitor, too. Here is what it looks like in Normal View.

YoruFukurou

But you can also follow Twitter conversations easily with Conversation View.

YoruFukurou

This view is handy for trying to figure out what folks in your timeline are talking about if you missed earlier tweets.

I also like the Drawer feature, which allows me to click on a person’s tweet, click on the Drawer icon, and see the most pertinent information in the person’s profile.

YoruFukurou

You can read all about its other features at the YoruFukurou website. I’ve been using it for about a month now, and it’s been the best Twitter client I’ve ever used—even better than Nambu was. Unfortunately, it’s only available on Mac, and there are presently no plans to develop for Windows.

A strange thing I noticed: When I followed their Twitter account, I had a ton of random follows from Asian spam accounts, so I unfollowed their Twitter account, but left them in one of my lists so I could still see their new tweets, and the spam follow issue resolved. Just a warning.

I am not sure how well the client works with Lion, as I am still on Snow Leopard, but the developers regularly update the app, so if it’s not compatible, it soon will be.

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