Over the past few months you'd probably have needed to be a member of a stone age tribe in the deepest indonesian jungle in order to have missed all the buzz around Twitter. The Wimbledon commentators have even been talking about it during their between game banter, it's certainly wormed it's way into popular culture relatively quickly!
While I'm not a big fan of social networking I eventually decided that I'd better take a look at this Twitter thing. So a couple of weeks ago I signed up and started tweeting (which is apparently the jargon for posting an entry on Twitter). I soon got fed up with the web interface on the main site which requires you to refresh the browser every so often in order to see if there are any new tweets, and so I set about looking for a desktop application that could run in the background while I work.
The first application I tried was Tweetr, which was OK but I did find it a little bit limiting. Firstly, I couldn't work out how to shorten a URL (which is a must when the character limit for a tweet is 140 characters) and secondly there was no spell checker. Normally I can spell pretty well but occasionally I get it wrong and when I do I like the 'comfort blanket' that applications like Outlook and Word give in that they can check your spelling for you (preferably as you type).
After about a week I'd had enough of Tweetr and looked again, this time I found a client called Twhirl which is a lot more sophisticated than Tweetr. I quickly discovered that it supports spell checking, albeit in American English - but that's better than nothing; I just need to remember it's a colour not a color. It also has a very intuitive interface, I soon found out how to shorten a URL and other features which appeared to be lacking in Tweetr are readily available (like the ability to see who is following you and who you are following). It is certainly a well designed interface, so well done Twhirl developers!
If you'd like to follow me on Twitter my profile is simply @Convallis.