Twitter has become a part of my every day life. When I first tried it, I thought it was a complete and utter waste of time. Nine months later I decided to give it another chance, and now I see the light. Twitter is great for networking, sharing links, getting ideas, connecting and meeting with people, and sometimes just saying something no one is around physically to hear.
Exactly one month ago, Lee Odden (@leeodden) asked me on Twitter if I was going to build tools for Twitter like I did for MyBlogLog way back when. I started playing with the API and began on the first of several tools. I decided to go with “Missing” Twitter Tools because some of these could/should be integrated into Twitter and I was surprised no one had built them before.
TweetBeep.com is my favorite, and is the first Twitter Tool I made. It’s like Google Alerts, but for Twitter. If you want to know if someone on Twitter is talking about you, your website, your company or products, your competition, or anything else, just add a TweetBeep alert. You can set hourly or daily alerts for keywords, and link alerts are in real-time. The coolest feature is the link alerts will catch links to your domain even if they are shortened with tinyurl.com, snurl.com, etc. TweetBeep is great for online reputation management!
LiveTwitting.com came as a result of reading a conversation on Twitter between @dannysullivan and @lisabarone, about live twittering conference sessions. Danny mentioned that there was a lack of tools for consolidating tweets after the fact. I twittered with Danny, he sent me some of his ideas/specs, and out came livetwitting.com. With a few simple commands you can record your conference, meeting, or event coverage. You can even edit your text after the fact, and easily reuse the text using the RSS feed. SMX Advanced recently used livetwitting, and has several sessions available for you to check out.
TweetAnswers is like Yahoo! Answers but for Twitter users! Have a question you need answered? Instead of just asking your friends on Twitter, you can ask the growing network of people who follow @tweetanswers. Answers are organized by topic using hashtags.
HappyTwitDay is less useful than the other tools, but it is pretty fun. If someone wishes you a happy birthday on Twitter, @happytwitday will also wish you Happy Birthday, and records your birthday on its website. It keeps track of how many people wished you happy birthday, and you can look up other Twitter users’ birthdays, or who shares the same birthday as you. If you follow @happytwitday you can find out when your friends are having a birthday even if you don’t know it!
Twanslate is a Twitter bot (@twanslate) that will translate any text you send it. It’s very useful when you’re away from your computer and need a quick translation, like “Where’s the bathroom?”. Just follow @twanslate and send a direct message like “d twanslate fr Where’s the bathroom?”. It translates into lots of languages and automatically detects what language your text is in (so you can send it Spanish [es] and translate into French [fr]).
If you have any great ideas for Twitter Tools you’d like to see built, or if you’d like to just see what I’m up to, follow me on Twitter at @mdjensen.