Setup Twhirl — a Twitter Client Based on Adobe AIR (Week 3)

This training presumes that you already have a Twitter account. Please follow the instructions on Sign Up to Twitter if you haven’t done so.

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Once you’re done with it, at least you should have known how Twitter web site looks and operates. There are so many better ways to be using Twitter than coming back to the web site. The beauty of Twitter is that you don’t have to interrupt what you are doing to post something in it. That’s also the reasons why many other services fail.

For example, there are two places you can add tweets from the Flock browser.

Using Twitter from Flock’s People Sidebar

The Flock’s People Sidebar can be accessed from the toolbar.

Flock\'s People Sidebar (Twitter)

This will open a sidebar in Flock where you can look at your Twitter, Facebook, Digg, YouTube and other social media accounts.

What you’ll see is pretty much like below.

The Flock People Bar Displaying Twitter

The list of tweets are available right away in the sidebar. You can post a new tweet by clicking and typing in the field pointed in the second red arrow above. The functionality is built-in right into Flock.

You can also use the Post Link to post a link. It will automatically take you to your Twitter page with the recent URL automatically filled in. This may save some time but you can do better…

The problem with this is long urls don’t get truncated. The in-built Post Link feature doesn’t shorten the URL so it leaves no space for you to write comments. People won’t click on messy URLs with no description.

Note: Perhaps you noticed it too, even though I adjust the size of the sidebar to the maximum, I’m still not be able to see the whole tweet unless I hover over it. For me, that is quite annoying because it takes almost twice amount of time to read it.

Setting Up TwitterBar

A better way would be to use the Twitterbar to post URLs. So, let’s first set it up.

TwitterBar Options

(Your screen may look a bit different from mine because I’m using an extension called All-in-One Sidebar to display the download, add-ons and other dialog box all on the sidebar.

Choose ToolsAdd-ons. Click on the Options (or Preferences in Mac) on the TwitterBar extension, like shown below.

Setup TwitterBar Options

There are actually two modes for Twitter, secure and safe. Secure, which is on by default prompts you for your username and password at the beginning of a browsing session whe you first post. You will not have to re-enter this for the current browsing session for every other post.

Safe mode sets you username/password in the extension so you do not have to log in at the start of every browsing session. This information is stored securely in password manager. The twitter API is a little weird, and there are times that it might still prompt you for your username/password even when using this option (most likely to happen with your first ever post from the extension).

Ed leaves it in secure mode. If you are not sharing the computer with anyone else, you should consider using the Safe Mode.

The Before URL option will prefix the URL with this phrase, which is Currently Browsing:. You can change this if you want.

The Open Twitter in new tab after posting should be leaved unchecked. One of the greatest things about Twitter is that you don’t have to be taken away out of the flow of what you are doing. Perhaps you should enable it to see if it works for you and then turn that option off.

Let’s repeat this again. One of the most important things in Twitter is the flow. You don’t have to be taken away from what you are doing right now.

Finally, you don’t want to disable the Hide addressbar button because apparently you want it to be there. Press Ok to confirm the changes.

Using Twitter can’t be simpler. You append your comment after the URL and hit on the green plus sign on the right hand side of it. It also shows you how many characters you have left.

Using TwitterBar

Soon you will get a successful message. Check to make sure your new post is there. (It will). Congratulations, you have tapped into the power and speed of micro blogging.

TwitterBar is just for something you are currently browsing. You’ll use Twhirl for regular posting. Let’s set it up.

Installing Twhirl

Twhirl makes Twitter so usable, manageable and fantastic. It is built on the Adobe AIR platform, so it will work cross platform.

Click the Install Now button.

Download Twhirl

If you don’t have Adobe AIR on your computer yet, a message will show up to confirm installation of Adobe AIR along with Thwirl.

Install Adobe AIR

Choose Yes. Up pops a dialog box showing the progress of the download.

Twhirl Download Progress

You will see warning after it is full downloaded, like the following.

Twhirl Pre-Installation Warning

You want to install that, so choose Install. Next dialog box allows you to choose installation options.

Twhirl Installation Options

Proceed by clicking Continue. You will see a Software License Agreement dialog box. To install the application, you need to confirm it by choosing I Agree.

Twhirl will start to install and if you choose the options like above, you will see the program launched.

Twhirl Main Screen

Make sure Twitter is chosen. Enter your Twitter username (screen name) and click on the ‘+’ sign. You can have multiple Twitter accounts. This is handy to separate your personal and professional tweets or for each of your marketing persona.

Add Twitter Account to Twhirl

Choose the new account and press connect. A password prompt pops up. Enable the remember my password option only if you are the only one who uses your computer. Hit Login to continue loging in.

Twhirl Password Prompt Dialog Box

If you haven’t add Ed’s and Dan’s Twitter yet, now is the time to do so.

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