Guest post by Chris Abraham
Back in the earlier days of third-party Twitter apps (just a few months ago, actually), a few very effective web-based services got my attention: SocialToo, TweetLater, and HootSuite. Sad thing was, while they were all very powerful services, they were all poorly designed, very hacked together, and fugly. Enter the elegant, sexy, feature-rich HootSuite 2.0 (no matter what you think about all the controversy and extortion — see below).
Everyone’s talking about HootSuite 2.0
Today, while I was monitoring my stream-o-tweets, I noticed that every third person of the 2,587 I currently follow were tweeting that they “upgraded to #HootSuite 2.0 because it works http://hootsuite.com/upgrade.” HootSuite — pronounced like it sounds (HOOT-sweet) and a play on the French phrase tout de suite — was the first online player to offer multi-Twitter-account management and Twittering, an essential tool to any business application of Twitter that required the management of more than one Twitter account, such as @marcon, @abrahamharrison, @chrisabraham, etc.
HootSuite 1.0 was ugly
I used HootSuite to manage multiple accounts, in spite of very basic, very Web 1.0 forms-based interface. HootSuite allowed me to simply pop tweets to one or more account and to manage as many as I wanted. I used it as I expanded into new accounts. And then there was Seesmic Desktop, by Loic Le Meur, and now there is TweetDeck, both AIR apps that are multi-platform clients that I personally really love: their ease of use, their look and feel, and their modern design.
HootSuite 2.0 is a hottie
Today, as I alluded to earlier, HootSuite got a lot of work done. In fact, I feel like I am in some sort of before and after makeover scene in morning TV. HootSuite 2.0 is a hottie: gorgeous, stunning, modern and Ajaxy, integrating new levels of innovation that leaves every Twitter-inspired web services in its technological wake — even Twitter!
Looking good even on my small-screen laptop
I run a Lenovo x61 ThinkPad, which only has a 12.1-inch screen, which doesn’t work very well with TweetDeck (it just isn’t wide enough). Seesmic Desktop does a little better with a pretty cool “shuffling” innovation. However, HootSuite does it the best, using a regular browser to display lots and lots of information by means of scrollers and tabs, allowing everything to be contained simply and quickly using even my pathetically small “executive” laptop and might even work swimmingly in a netbook with a 10-inch screen.
All of the other stuff is crap compared to what’s really cool
I have been saving the best for last: HootSuite allows you to create columns with persistent search, meaning you can keep your eyes on what is going on around your brand, your name, your competitors, and your industry. Psych! That’s not the big deal! The big deal is that “you can now take your column with you,” meaning you can create a search for something like #Socialmedia.biz. This is really cool and so innovative! You can set up your own dashboard, you can shoehorn the stream into your blog’s or site’s nav bar — lots of stuff. Nobody else offers this, as far as I can tell, and this is a winner! The reason why we all use and worship YouTube is partially because it was one of the first video hosting sites that allowed one to embed content. You might not know it now, but this is a big deal!
Embeddable columns widget
Apparently, Twitter embeddable search, too
Update: Right after I posted this article, I popped the link to the lovely and brilliant Adele McAlear, who popped me the note via Google Talk, “I think someone else does the widget… I’ll find it…one sec. Yeah…its Twitter themselves. Customizable. Announced this week based on search.twitter. I’ve already embedded one on my blog (which explains why I’ve seen it, smacks head). Yes, the link works in my left sidebar. Custom search terms, sizes, colours, mouse over “join the conversation” in the widget to see the search terms used.” Well, there you have it! Here’s the link to the Twitter Widget Search.
Now, the controversy: remember that “I upgraded to #HootSuite 2.0 because it works http://hootsuite.com/upgrade” tweet I have been seeing all over the Twittosphere? Well, here’s the controversy and the genius: if you want to upgrade to HootSuite version 2 — if you really want to upgrade — then you have to be willing to tweet “I upgraded to #HootSuite 2.0 because it works http://hootsuite.com/upgrade” or there’s no moving forward. Coercion! Blackmail! Extortion! Brilliant! Worth it! Shameless! Arrogant! How dare you!
Well, I think it worked. Just today, there were at least 2,133 mentions of the Twitter hashtag #hootsuite, roughly equivalent to a minor earthquake or coup d’état insurrection. I mean, it works and it got my attention, it got JD’s attention, and the messaging — my messaging — wasn’t even the result of a direct mail. And, when I repeated the message to my 10k+ followers, it was willingly. I mean, what price tweeting to get a glimpse of what everyone is on about.
Do you use HootSuite? What do you think?
Update: Blake Samic commented that there are parts of HootSuite that I hadn’t yet explored, “I’m interested to see how their analytics engine stacks up to something like ‘su.pr‘ (another great scheduled-tweet app). The other interesting feature I noticed in Hootsuite was the ability to have multiple people managing a Twitter account (kind of like Co-Tweet).”
Cross-posted from Socialmedia.biz.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported.