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  • A Bi-Monthly Electronic Publication for Section Members
  • October 2009

Technology and Law Practice Management

Top Ten Twitter Tools

The June 2009 issue of Law Practice magazine asks “ Are You Considering Twittering?”.  Increasingly, lawyers are saying yes.  Twitter was originally created as a way to keep in touch with friends by answering the question, “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less.  In January 2009, however, the ABA Journal reported Twitter Becoming ‘Incredibly Mainstream’ for Blogging Lawyers, and followed with Much Chatter About Twitter in April 2009.  As Twitter has increased in popularity, so have the number of tools available to increase its usefulness.  The following tools are free and cross platform (Mac and Windows compatible) unless otherwise mentioned.

  • Be Twittered ( http://tinyurl.com/4cnb7g) is a Twitter application (gadget) for your iGoogle homepage.  It shows recent posts from the people you follow and has a box where you Tweet.  For mobile lawyers, there is Be Twittered Mobile for mobile devices and phones with “proper” web browsers like Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari.
  • TweetDeck ( http://tweetdeck.com/beta/) bills itself as your personal browser for staying in touch with and connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook and more.  TweetDeck is a standalone program that runs on Macs as well as PCs and allows you to customize your Twitter experience with columns, groups, saved searches and automatic updates to stay updated with your chosen people and topics.
  • TweetGrid ( http://www.tweetgrid.com) does not require a Twitter account to start.  If you want to see what all the fuss is about, consider this application created by developer Chad Etzel. Unlike many other Twitter tools, you do not need a Twitter account to use TweetGrid. It allows you to create a dashboard to follow multiple conversations for multiple keywords in real time.  Just open TweetGrid and choose a grid layout to get started. You will need a twitter account to tweet if you decide you want to join in.
  • Tweet Law ( http://www.tweetlaw.com), developed by Westin Consulting, LLC, is a Twitter application that improves the utility of Twitter for legal professionals.  Create a free profile using your Twitter username and password and pick up to 4 categories that describe what you do. TweetLaw displays the tweets of its 470+ members and allows you to filter them based on over 30 categories.
  • Tweet Scan ( http://www.tweetscan.com) sends you an email when keywords you specify are mentioned on Twitter, and you do not have to have a Twitter account to use it.  Tweet Scan makes narcisurfing easy by searching the “Twitterverse” to see when anyone mentions your name, firm name or other keywords.  It then sends you the results via email or RSS for a $20 annual fee after the 30-day free trial.
  • Twhirl( http://www.twhirl.org) is a social software desktop client that allows users to access Twitter accounts without a web browser.  Twhirl enables you to cross-post your updates to Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and more. Other features include the ability to search tweets using Twitter Search and TweetScan*, and follow topics in near -real time with saved searches.
  • Twittelator ( http://www.stone.com/Twittelator/Pro_versus_Lite_Features.html) by Stone Design is a twitter client for your iPhone/Touch.  The Free Lite version is a popular, feature rich download that supports conversations and nearby search for tweeters.  TwittelatorPro supports multiple accounts, sub groups of friends and high-resolution photo uploads.  It retails for $4.99 but includes support and free upgrades for life.
  • TwitterBerry ( http://www.orangatame.com/products/twitterberry/) by Orangatame Software is a free BlackBerry mobile client for posting updates to Twitter. It works over the data network, so you don't need to use SMS.  TwitPic ( http://www.twitpic.com/), a picture sharing utility, is integrated into the application so you only have to snap a quick photo with your device, select that picture in your media file and choose “send with TwitterBerry.”
  • Twitterrific ( http://iconfactory.com/software/twitterrific) is a Macintosh only Twitter client created by The Iconfactory.   Features include the ability to manage multiple accounts, search and see trends, email tweets, link to individual tweets and filter the timeline so you can see only replies, direct messages or favorites.  The free version is ad supported but $14.95 removes all advertising and supports future improvements.

Did we miss a great Twitter tool?   Follow the Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC) on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ltrc and let us know your favorites.

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