Do you remember taking your first tentat… 

Do you remember taking your first tentative steps along the ‘twittery superhighway?’

Early adopter or latecommer to the party, you probably still encountered precicely the same steep(ish) learning curve of both shoehorning your thoughts into 140 characters and trying to get your head around all the DM@RT#ing intricacies!

One program which helped me to get a much wider and clearer picture of what twitter is all about is TweetDeck.  It’s raved about on the forums and in millions of tweets per day but why is it so useful?

1.  It autorefreshes – so tweets are re-ordered in order of newness.

2. It allows you to search your contacts tweets meaning you can find old themes and buzzwords fast.

3. Its easy to retweet (RT), reply publically (@username), or direct message (DM) people thanks to the handy graphics that appear over user avatars.

4. You can choose the layout to include things like word clouds along with extra profile information.

5. Integrated ‘tiny url’ will shorten most web addresses to save you precious characters for all those long words!

Those are my personal top five reasons but there are others too including group views and photo, video and even facebook integration.  So if you are new to Twitter or if you are just looking for a more powerful way of using the Twitter service then you would do well to give it a try.

Just before I go, and for all you seasoned ‘tweople’ out there, you may find this video useful on how TweetDeck can help you manage and interact with large numbers of followers.