In today’s lesson we’ll cover the rest of the cool things that you can do with Twhirl.

Using Twhirl Pt. 2 | Thirty Day Challenge

We’ve already covered a bit about the “direct message icon (shown below.)

Twhirl - Direct Message Button

Let’s compare and contrast some of the key differences and uses for direct messages vs. “@” replies.  Keep in mind, in using Twhirl and Twitter, you are putting content out on the web for others to view – so you have to keep the reader in mind.  In fact, you’ll want to be mindful of your potential future readers.  In doing so, there’ll need to be some deliberate thought behind your usage of “@” replies vs. direct messages.

In the video, Ed gets a message about where the periods go in the term “” – now Ed could choose to use an “@” reply, which would show up in his public twitter feed.  Anyone who is “following” Ed would be able to read it.  But without any context, that reply wouldn’t make much sense and may not be of much interest to his Twitter followers.  So in this case, a direct message makes more sense.

Twhirl - Tweeting A Direct Message

One caveat, you aren’t able to send a direct message to someone who is not following you.  So, you couldn’t send a direct message to Ed_Dale unless he was following you.  But you COULD send him an “@” reply.  In that case, you would want to remember to provide some context AND get to the point in 140 characters or less.

Direct messages would be very handy for communication within teams.  We will also learn about another Twitter-based service that will allow us to send private messages within the Twitter frame-work.  More on that later…

Below is the “archive” folder button – it allows you to view the Twitter archive of all your posts.

Twhirl - Archive Button

Next up is the “favorites” button – which Ed doesn’t use much.  It can be used to help remind you to come back and look at something later.

Twhirl - Favorites Button

This is the friends and followers button.  You can use this to help you maintain the list of people you are following and the people who are following you.

Twhirl - Friends And Followers Button

By way of example, you could go through your friends and followers list and send them a reply, a direct message – or you could “unfollow” them.

Twhirl - Unfollow User

On to the “Lookup” button.  This is a particularly handy Twhirl function to help you find people on Twitter.

Twhirl - The Lookup Button

In this example, Ed looks up DanRaine on Twitter.  It shows all of Dan’s posts, his website information and his Twitter stats.  From here, you could send him an “@” reply or a direct message.  You could also “unfollow” him or block him if he’s being a pill.  🙂

Twhirl - Block User Button

As you get better and better as a Twitter user, you may find yourself checking the “API” button.  There’s a limit to how many times you can access Twitter each hour.  They do this to throttle down the flow of traffic – they may increase that limit in the future, but for now – you can hover over this icon to show your current API usage and the overall health of Twitter at the moment.

Twhirl - Twitter API Stats

If you do happen to exceed your API limit, it will reset within an hour – and you’ll be back up and running.


The “toggle filter” button allows you to search through your tweets for a certain person or post.

Twhirl - Toggle Filter Button

The “mark all as seen” button does just what it says.  This can help keep your message window current.  You may notice that “tweets” you haven’t read yet have a star by them…

Twhirl - Mark All As Seen Button

Below is the “refresh” button, which will poll Twitter for any new tweets.  This will count against your API limit for the hour, so use it sparingly if at all.

Twhirl - Refresh Button

Wrapping up this post – The way Ed uses it, Twhirl just sits on his desktop.  Rather than let it be a constant distraction, he just checks it when he has a few minutes to review and respond to his tweets.

I’m a big fan of clustering tasks – meaning, I work on e-mails for a while, then I’ll shift gears and work on phone calls, after that – maybe I’ll work on a blog post.  In between, maybe I’ll check on my twhirl feed and see if anything needs a response.  In addition, if I’m working on something that would make sense to “tweet” about – I’ll post it to twhirl and then get right back to the task at hand.  But I try to make sure I’m using Twhirl in a way that enhances my productivity and extends my reach on the web – not as a distraction that allows me to procrastinate…It just takes a bit of self-discipline.

If you use Twhirl and Twitter in that way, you’ll find it to be a fantastic and simple way to inject your voice into the “conversation.”  When we get to some additional elements that we’ll be learning about shortly, you’ll begin to see how to use these tools to market more effectively.  So get used to using Twitter and Twhirl, remember the “TwitterBar” we learned about a few days ago – and we’ll learn more in the next lesson from Ed.

Important/Related Links

Click here to download Twhirl.

Follow Ed on Twitter
Click here to follow Ed on Twitter.

Follow Dan on Twitter
Click here to follow Dan on Twitter.

Follow Rob on Twitter
Click here to follow Rob on Twitter.

Sign Up for the Thirty Day Challenge
Click here to sign up for the thirty day challenge.

If you appreciate this post, please take a moment to spread the word…

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl