If you’re struggling to keep up with a noisy Twitter stream, you should check out Twimbow. It’s an online Twitter client that can help to keep your stream organized by color-coding and filtering tweets.
Before you get started, you’ll need to fill out a few details or sign up using your OpenID, Google (s goog) or Yahoo (s yhoo) account. Authorize the app to work with your Twitter account(s), and you’re ready to go. The Twimbow screen is divided into three main columns: “Personal Buzz” (your tweets, @ replies, and DMs), “Home Buzz” (your main Twitter stream) and search.
Color-coding your tweets
The “Personal Buzz” column is color-coded by default. As shown by the icons at the top of the column, your tweets are blue, @ replies are green, DMs you’ve sent are yellow, DMs sent to you are orange, tweets retweeted by you are pink, retweets of your tweets are olive, while tweets you’ve marked as a favorite are red. Clicking on one of those icons at the top of the column filters those tweets from the column, so clicking on the red star will remove favorites from the column.
The “Home Buzz” column contains your main Twitter stream. Similarly to the “Personal Buzz” column, it also has color coding, but you’re left to define your own system. You can define labels (such as “News,” “Friends,” “Work,” and so on) and give each label its own color. Apply a label to a tweet and it (and all of the other tweets from that user) will be color-coded. You can also filter the stream to show or hide tweets with each label.
The column to the right has a real-time search feature. Saved searches can be moved to the “Monitor” box at the bottom of the screen if you want to keep an eye on a particular phrase.
Filtering noisy tweets
As well as the color-coding, one other Twimbow feature that aims to help clean up your Twitter stream is the “noise killer,” which enables you to set up a filter to remove tweets containing specific keywords from your stream. This could be useful when an event is happening and there are tweets flooding your stream that you’re not interested in, for example (although you’ll need to make sure to remove the filter after the event has finished).
Twimbow certainly has a pretty interface, but it’s not without a few drawbacks. Despite working well on my smaller laptop screen, there’s no mobile version. You can’t check out trending topics. And while the interface looks pretty, it’s not exactly intuitive — it took me a little while to figure out how the color-coding and search columns worked, for example.
It’s not a full-featured social media dashboard
You should also note that, despite its use of columns, Twimbow is not really a full-featured social media dashboard like, say, HootSuite or TweetDeck. You can’t add additional columns beyond the three that Twimbow provides, nor can you configure how each column works, as you can with HootSuite and TweetDeck. However, as an easy-to-follow and novel web-based Twitter client, it works really well, and for a web app, it’s impressively responsive. If you’re finding it impossible to keep up with your fast-moving and noisy Twitter stream on the official Twitter website, even with the help of lists, Twimbow is definitely worth checking out; it’s free.
Twimbow was previously in private beta and required an invitation to access, but it’s now open to all; you can sign up here.