So you are surfing the web looking for something to use to make better use of your twitter account. Like me, you think the website, twitter’s that is, just doesn’t work for you. You like the idea of lists and how they can be used to separate your main stream into something manageable. You keep hearing about three main choices: TweetDeck, Seesmic and Hootsuite but don’t know which to pick. Well I’m hear to help. To start, Hootsuite bought/owns/etc Seesmic so there are actually only 2 big players in the market for people to use. So without wasting anymore of your time, here is why I started with TweetDeck, tried Hootsuite and decided to just stick with TweetDeck.
As you can see, because H.S. runs in a browser you lose some work space when compared to Tweetdeck.
Now I know someone is going to cry foul and before you write me a long email defending H.S.’s integrity…yes yes I know, I’m comparing a web app to a desktop program. But H.S took over Seesmic which was a desktop program sooooooooo….. you see my point? Good.
Menu and the GUI
The menu to the left really shows you just how different each program is. For HS you have Analytics, Publisher, Assignments and Contacts. In TD, you have an icon for each list you are using. For those of you who want the quick and dirty final word and don’t want to read any further, HS seems totally geared to people who use twitter in some business fashion. These people want to know when the best time to post is, how many people read your post, etc, etc, etc. And if I were a business I would want that information too. But I’m not, so those features are not important to me. I just wanna read stories and talk to a few friends in the quickest way possible. So if you want to see the furthest list to the right, in HS you need to drag the scroll bar. If you want to go back to the left most list, you again need to drag the scroll bar. In TD this same action is done with 2 clicks on the left menu. In TD I can use the arrow keys to read post after post just by hitting the down arrow. I tried but HS doesn’t seem to allow for that. The one thing HS absolutely nails dead on is (drum roll) each acct has it’s own tab. Brilliant! Now that’s a great idea. It allows you to make sure you know which acct you are posting/replying/talking in.
This next comparison is a really weird one. In TD if you set your streaming to real time things will fly by as fast as they are posted. This can be both good and bad. I should be fair in saying while this seems to work great TD doesn’t update the list columns anywhere near as fast as they should be and DM replies sometimes grind to a halt. In HS the fastest you can get anything to update automatically is every 5minutes. Now I only tried the free edition just like TD but for a program that focuses so much on business, I would think instant updates would be their “thing”. Then again twitter has all kinds of weird number of times you can ask for updates thing so maybe it’s not HS fault.
Wrapping this up.
Data to make better decisions about when and how to post to maximize your ROI. Divided Accts using tabs. Easily schedule posts. You want access to your apps no matter where you are.
Small work area. Arrow keys don’t work. No simple way to jump from list to list. Have to manually log in each time which for me means I have to open Keepass since I don’t actually know my password. Slow 5 min update time.
Full screen gives plenty of work area, navigating lists are very easy. Navigation without a mouse is easy. No logging in issues. Instant updates in full stream.
Additional resources needed to run separate program. Lists sometimes don’t update at same rate as mainstream. DMs can be very slow. All accounts on one screen, can forget which account you are using. If you want to schedule tweets, ability is kinda buried.
Like I said, I’m sticking with TweetDeck but if I were the media relations person at some business I would use HootSuite. Use what works best for you.