So you've signed up with Twitter, and are looking for a tool that will help you get the most out of this neat little communications medium. Sure, you can send and receive tweets through twitter.com, but once you start to use Twitter a lot, the generic Web interface gets old very quickly. It simply doesn't scale that well for heavy use, and in fact can be a drag on sending, receiving and reading messages. The review below explains how to switch to Hootsuite, one of the more popular Twitter clients.
Hootsuite is a tool that greatly expands the functionality of Twitter by letting you do things like monitor multiple lists and streams on the same screen, easily operate multiple twitter accounts, post simultaneously on Twitter and Facebook, share accounts with other users, and schedule tweets in advance. It uses a Web browser, which means no additional software needs to be downloaded, and also has a mini version that works on iPhones and iPod touches. I use it for posting to four individual Twitter accounts (@ilamont, @publicdime, @harvardextended, and @sloanfellow) as well as shared account (@mit_sf2011) and have set it up so I can monitor them on the fly (typically, before I leave for school, on the train, and in-between classes).
It's easy to get started (and I've embedded a video below which shows how to do it). Go to Hootsuite.com and register. Once you're in, you can authenticate your Twitter accounts and Facebook. This means you'll be able to see and post items on Twitter or Facebook without visiting Twitter.com or Facebook.com -- including posting simultaneously to both (useful if your friends are on Facebook, and other people monitor your tweets, and you want to send something to both audiences at the same time).
In addition, you will be able to create multiple views of Twitter lists, direct messages and search terms. These accounts and views will be preserved even as you change browsers and computers, which is useful if you like to tweet from both your home computer and the laptop you use for school.
To see what Hootsuite looks like and how to start using it, I've embedded a video that was created by Benjamin Bachman. It takes about 9 minutes, and is really good if you're interested in taking Twitter to the next level: