Twitter is absolutely part of my online life, but honestly I have found it impossible to keep track of my tweets in any kind of real time way and actually get work done.
I’ve tried a number of different Twitter tools, Twirl, Tweet Deck, etc. They either make me toggle over to a different browser tab to let me see what’s being tweeted or they give me a small pop-up that shows me a tweet, but only for a few fleeting seconds, unless I click away to see my list of tweets. The problem with this is, once I click away from what I’m working on to go to whatever Twitter tool page, I’m immediately sucked into the Twitter anti-productivity trap. I usually realize I have to get back to work – 15 or 20 minutes later…
Friendbar is a Firefox Plug-in, that circulates your last 20 or so tweets, Facebook friend updates & Facebook friend photos, in a scrolling marquee style in a browser toolbar. You can have multiple browser tabs open and the tool bar is static. New tweets are color coded with Orange backgrounds and Replies and Direct Messages are color coded with Brown backgrounds.
The benefits don’t stop with the convenient browser bar location. You can easily tweet the web page you are looking at with a simple click. Friendbar will automatically put in “Reading: Title of Page or Post” with a shortened bit.ly URL at the end of the tweet.
If you want to craft your own Tweet about the page you are viewing you can write the Tweet, then click the URL shortner button to give you a bit.ly shortened URL.
Each Tweet that comes accross your Friendbar has easily accessable buttons to Reply, Direct Message or ReTweet what’s on the Friendbar. Again Friendbar automatically fills in the obvious blanks – which saves time typing.
I’m a big fan of “re-circulating” the last 20 tweets, you can set Friendbar to circulate up to 30 previous tweets. The benefit is that I don’t have to constantly keep checking to see what tweets I missed when I was working. I’ll just catch those tweets within the next 5 or 6 times they come back around.
Friendbar also provides a nice home page that will display your last 20 Tweets, Facebook updates and Facebook pictures, with a Google Search bar.
The benefits are numerous. The Speed, efficiency and convenience allowed by Friendbar makes it an obvious choice for being productive at work and productive at Tweeting.