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Our favorite Twitter apps...

Here's a roundup of the Twitter apps we're using over at WMG. When applicable, I've also indicated how to apply them for use in journalism.

Want a better handle on microblogging as a viable communication platform? Have a look at this study from the University of Maryland (shameless plug - they're just up the street from us). Their findings aren't necessarily earth shattering - we connect with others because we either have something in common or want their knowledge - but the paper does a great job of explaining how we stay in touch, digitally.

In order to get started, create a free account at Twitter.

TwitterFeed - Got a blog? This will automatically updated your posts to your Twitter account. Use it for journalism: If you're not sure how to effectively Twitter at your news organization, create a basic Twitter account - like BaltimoreNews. Then, you can automatically send out announcements of your new blog entries to everyone who's following you.

Twhirl - This is a nice desktop application that allows you to update and read your Twitter account. Use it for journalism: This application really functions more like an instant message client. Still, it can help reporters stay on top of breaking news.

PocketTweets - This tool enables you to post and read tweets via your iPhone.

Twadget - If you're a (blech) Vista user, this is a gadget that will track and send all new tweets from your account.

Twitter Tube Tracker - Track the status of London's Tube trains and get delays sent to Twitter.

TwitterGram - Tired of just sending out 140 characters? Use TwitterGram to send mp3s tweets. Use it for journalism: This could be a fantastic way to share breaking news audio reports. You might also consider using it to send out quick advertisements every X# tweets.

TwitterLit - This application will send out the first line of a book and a link to Amazon. It's part trivia - can you guess the author and title? - but mostly a marketing ploy to get Twitter users to buy more stuff on Amazon. But it's effective - and lots of people are using it. Use it for journalism: Mimic this application for use in your own newsroom. Tease new stories. Use quick-hit trivia to drive traffic to your site. What about promotions? Selling photos or archived video?

TwitterLocal - Filter out tweets from just a certain area. Use it for journalism: Reporters can use this as source material to find out what's happening within a certain range of miles, postal code, state, city, etc.

TwitterCal - This application allows you to add events directly to your Google calendar.

Twittervision - I wrote about this last year... Twittervision displays random updates from people around the world. It's a bit like watching an aquarium, and it's addictive. Want to get included? Add TwitterWhere, which will automatically post your tweet location.

Yahoo! Pipes - Now optimizes your Twitter RSS feed.

Twitzer - Want more than 140 characters? Twitzer works with Firefox and will allow you to type in longer posts. Be warned, though. Twittering is meant to be is micro-sized, and some of your followers may not want long, rambling posts from you.

TrackThis - Track your FedEx, UPS, USPS and DHL packages.

Twubble - Want to follow more people but not sure where to start? Twubble will make recommendations based on who you currently follow and your geographic location. Use it for journalism: This is a good way for jurnos to get started using Twitter, especially if they're not sure who to start following just yet.

TwitterTroll - A workable search engine for Twitter feeds. Not comprehensive, thought. Use it for journalism: Try running a search for people, information on a story, etc. You won't find tweets at Google.

Tweet Scan - This is another search engine for tweets. Use it for journalism: Requires login to get full access to all the tools, but it can definitely be used as a reporting tool. Again, you're not quoting directly from folks - just looking for leads and additional context to aid in the reporting process.

Twitbar -- For our Linux friends, a Twitter client for Gnome users to post from the Deskbar.

 

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