Using Twhirl Part 2 — TDC Preseason (Week 3)

(Read the first part of Using Twhirl if you haven’t done so.)

By now, you should be ready to experiment a few things yourself, but here are some important features.

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The envelope icon at the bottom of Twhirl allows you to access all of your direct messages, sort of like personal inbox for Twitter. Look at the screenshot below.

Direct Message (envelope) button on Twhirl

Direct message, which this button is for, is useful when you need to reply to people (perhaps someone in your team) about anything that is not useful or interesting to your followers.

Tweeter Functions for Friends in Twhirl

You can click on the envelope button that appears as you hover over the picture of a friend in the message stream area.

Send a Direct Message in Twhirl

Basically it will add d <Twitter name> to the tweet text box so you can start typing the message and click on the Tick button to send it.

You can’t send a direct message to anyone who is not following you. If you want to message Ed or Dan, you must use @Ed_Dale or @DanRaine instead.

Direct message is really handy inside a team. You can keep message personal. Access is also very easy through Twhirl.

The next icon, which is a folder, represents the archive. You can go there and literally see every tweet that you’ve done. Beside the archive icon is Favorite. You can use it just like bookmark, i.e. keep some tweets so you can visit the URLs in them later. Perhaps you can find some other use of it too…

Friends and followers, the icon after Favorites is very handy for maintaining and following people.

Managing Friends in Twhirl

For instance, you can move your mouse over a friend that you no longer want to follow, and click on the ‘-’ (unfolow user) button to unfollow him/her. The other icons should look familiar. They let you message and direct message to a friend.

People Lookup function is useful to find people on Twitter. When you type DanRaine into the search box, you will see every posts from Dan. From the result, you can choose to send message or direct message, unfollow or block the specific user. It also gives some stats and web site.

On the lower right corner, you can find stats. If you move your move over it, you will see API requests and health gauge in percent. API used is the call Twhirl made to Twitter to display data on the window.

Twitter has grown to something entirely different even the founder never imagined it would be used in so many ways. They are currently reworking on their infrastructure because of the load the server has to handle.

For instance, if your API used says 39/70, it means you have used 39 out of the 70 allowable API requests in an hour. That is quite limiting but it is necessary right now to make Twitter more reliable to anyone.

Twhirl Filter

Filter lets you search through your tweets for specific person or words. The next button after it is Mark All as Seen so you can mark them off. A yellow start will appear in the tweets you haven’t looked at.

Refresh button allows you to refresh the updates manually, but try not to touch that because it counts against your hourly API limit. Avoid using this button unless it is necessary.

The idea about using Twhirl is discipline. Just let it run in the background. You shouldn’t go to the application every time somebody tweets, or you may not get anything done. Just let it sit on the desktop and every once in a while go through the messages and respond to people. If you use it that way, Twitter is a fantastic service.

That’s it! Go ahead and play with Twhirl (and don’t forget the TwitterBar too!)

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