Have you ever tried to follow a hashtag based thread on Twitter? There are a few methods currently available that can work such as setting up a search column in your favorite program, mobile app or use http://search.twitter.com and look for the hashtag your wanting to keep track of and chat about.
Those methods will work however, you will need to keep accessing them and refreshing the app or page to get new tweets with your chosen hashtag and sometimes the hashtag is so busy that info just flies by and you simply can not keep up.
So this morning as I was preparing to participate in a Twitter based chat for the Microsoft MVP Program this morning I decided I wanted another option to follow the #mvpchat hashtag. What I discovered was the web based TweetChat.com.
This web based interface to Twitter allows you to select the hashtag your going to follow/chat about and then gives you some terrific control over the display of the conversation.
Here is what the chat window looks like:
If you sign in with your Twitter account, with access being via oAuth so no passwords or usernames at TweetChat, then you get full integration as you see above. If you choose not to connect with twitter you can still follow the conversation and control the pace, etc. but you will not be able to tweet through the website. So there are definitely benefits to hooking into Twitter through TweetChat.
Take a closer look at the toolbar right below the compose window:
- Pause – self explanatory.
- Refresh Speed – Set this anywhere between 5 and 60 seconds.
- User Control – lets you feature (highlight) users in the chat window, block users tweets from appearing and also block retweets which can help slow things down as well.
- Toggle Font – switch between a smaller unbolded font or the larger bold one.
- Share Link – lets you send a tweet – Join me for a #mvpchat TweetChat at: http://tweetchat.com/room/mvpchat – to your followers.
One of the nice parts of this service is that once you are in a hashtag room you do not have to add the hashtag to the tweet – it is done automatically when it goes out. The characters remaining count in the compose window also takes this into account.
This is really just a well thought out website and provides you full access to be able to follow and participate on any trending hashtag on Twitter. I am glad I found the service and will continue to use it in the future.