PC Doctor August 15, 2011

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Dear PC Doctor,

I've used Twitter for a while now. I have more than one Twitter account since I have one for my personal use and another for my business so I need to keep both accounts logged in at the same time. Can you recommend the best client out there for Twitter? There seems to be so many and I don't know which to use to keep up with my tweets. Also, can you explain to me what hashtags are?                               


Dear Andrew,

You're right, there are quite a few Twitter clients out there. I haven't had time to try them all, obviously, but I know enough to recommend both HootSuite and TweetDeck. Both are extremely popular for a reason; they're both great ways of keeping track of the social stream.

First, HootSuite does not have a software client for Windows (but there is one for the Mac owners). You'll have to visit the HootSuite website to login and access your account. Tweetdeck is an actual piece of software. Every time a new tweet arrives in your stream, HootSuite will make a notification sound regardless of whether or not it's an @reply or a normal tweet. Tweetdeck gives you the option to set up sound notifications for certain tweets. TweetDeck is actually owned by the Twitter company, so it can be considered the official Twitter client. It's also completely free. HootSuite has a free account option, but for additional features, you have to sign up for a monthly fee. I'd suggest trying both before really settling down with one client to find one that suits your needs the best!

Hashtags are tags that you add to your tweets. You can preface any word (or set of words) with the pound symbol (#) to create a tag in your tweet. For example, let’s say that I was at the ComicCon event that took place last month. If I was reporting news, I'd probably end my tweet with the tag #ComicCon. This creates a link in my tweet to a search with all of the tweets tagged with the #ComicCon hashtag. Glancing through the list of tweets, I can see what's happening by the tweets that are tagged with the hashtag. The Twitter website lists the top hashtags on the right side of your stream. Check it out!

            PC Doctor

Tip of the week: Facebook Pokes

One day, I realized how much of a pain Facebook pokes were! Most of the time, when you poke someone, you start off a chain-reaction of poking back and forth. Nearly every time I log into my Facebook account, I have a couple people I need to poke. The process to poke them back takes way too long! I have to click poke, then OK a few more times before it's over. I realized there had to be an easier way. I use Google Chrome as my web browser of choice, so I just downloaded a Chrome Extension called “Poke All for Chrome” (tinyurl.com/pokeforchrome). Now I can just click one button and it pokes everyone back for me! So much easier now.  If you're a Firefox user, there's an Add on called “FaceTweak” where there's a setting to turn on an Auto-Poke. It also has many other features to customize your Facebook experience. Check it out at http://www.facetweak.com/!

Until next time... happy computing!