There's far more to Twitter than just telling people what you're doing.
Here's a list of our favourite tools to help you get the most from the 140-character service.
TwitterCounter analyses your account or that of any person using Twitter and provides information on the number of followers over time plotted on a graph.
It uses this information to extrapolate your likely follower growth in the future. You can also find statistics such as your current ranking on Twitter according to follower numbers, and you can then compare this to the most popular users on the service.
Find out how much influence you have on Twitter. Twitalyzer analyses your activity in five areas: influence, signal, generosity, velocity and clout.
Signal indicates the proportion of tweets that contain information, generosity measures how willing the user is to re-tweet, velocity watches how regularly tweets are made and clout refers to how often the user is referenced by others. Influence is a combination of all of these scores.
Share video clips via Twitter. You can upload videos and add a tweet to go with it. TwitVid links to Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.
4. The Twitter Tag Project
Follow Friday is a weekly event on Twitter where users recommend new people to follow. You do this by sending a tweet including the username or names of the people who you want to recommend marked with the hash tag '#followfriday'.
The Twitter Tag Project provides a tool to help you work out who to recommend. Enter your username, and it'll suggest a bunch of people based on your last 200 tweets, ready formatted into #followfriday tweets.
TweetGrid offers a similar service to Monitter, but integrates elements of a full Twitter client. You can log in and use it to send tweets and make re-tweets as well as monitoring searches in real time.
You can also opt for different page layouts, including three columns, or grids of three-by-three searches, giving you nine searches on one page.
Find out how addicted you are to Twitter by entering your username at this site. You'll get an overall ranking and a ranking by your location. You can also see what tags have been applied to your account. Twitterholic also shows the top 100 Twitter users for context
7. Friend or Follow
Worried about who's following you back, or who's dropped you shortly after following you? Friend or Follow helps you find these answers. Go to the site and enter your username.
Friend or Follow then analyses your account and presents you with three lists: people you're following but aren't following you back; people who follow you who you aren't following back and people you're following who are also following you.
Automatically notify your Twitter followers whenever you post to your blog. It does this, simply enough, by linking your blog's RSS feed to your Twitter account.
You can sign in using an open ID and then link your Twitter account. TwitterFeed also enables you to check for updates at hourly or daily intervals and include your blog post title in the automatic tweet.
Dabr is a lightweight web-based front-end for Twitter that's optimised for mobile use. It offers many of the functions that other Twitter clients provide, and increasing numbers of desktop PC users have switched to Dabr because of its speed and ease of use.
Icons next to each tweet enable you to reply, re-tweet, mark as a favourite or direct-message the user. Pictures appear as thumbnails in the timeline
10. Mr Tweet
Mr Tweet helps you to find new followers based on people you already follow by looking at their followers and people that they recommend. If you recommend people to Mr Tweet, your followers will see your recommendations and Mr Tweet will use them to help improve his recommendations, which you'll see when you visit.
Watch a selection of tweets as they are posted in realtime set against their locations on a world map. Twittervision is fascinating to watch, although of course you only see a small fraction of the tweets currently being made around the planet. It does gives you a feel for where the global Twitter hotspots are, though
Monitter supplies real-time search updates from Twitter presented in multiple columns. Search by username, hash tag or keyword. You can enter a different search in each column, and they constantly update.
There's no need to log in or even have a Twitter account. This makes Monitter a useful place to go if you've been working with a client application and have used up the limited number of API calls per hour Twitter permits you to make.
First published in PC Plus Issue 288
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