Twitter is a great tool for connecting with friends, colleagues, family and followers. However it has a few social interaction design problems. For me the biggest problem is the lack of an ability to manage the people I follow into groups.
Crowdstatus.com is a service that allows you to create and order a group of tweeple by whatever association you will, and provide that group via a public link. I've created a few groups. Here are two:
I'd be interested in seeing more groups on CrowdStatus.com if you know of any, or create any, let me know.
Tonight I found TweetDeck on FriendFeed. Louis Gray's tweet, and a few others alerted me to the service. TweetDeck is another client for Twitter. This one has a big difference to the one I currently use, Twirl, you can create groups and put people you follow into those groups.
TweetDeck gives you the ability to place all of the groups you create in columns, which can then be reviewed on the horizontal within this AIR application. You can move from right to left, and left to right and scan all of the groups you create.
Besides groups, TweetDeck also has columns for Twitter Replies, all Tweets, and Search. The search function uses results from Summize, the Twitter search engine. Currently when I use Summize I have all of my Summize keyword searches bookmarked, which enables me to select them all when booting up from bookmarks. TweetDeck puts all the Summize results in columns in one place, which makes the TweetDeck more useful.
However, the Groups function is what is most interesting to me. I've been looking for an application that allows me to manage the people I follow into groups. Groups works by giving you a list of people who you follow in Twitter, the list populates slowly, so do not be surprised if you are missing a few of the people you follow initially. You select those people who wish to be in a group, and then another column is created where you can follow all of the tweets of the people you have selected for the group. I will continue to use CrowdStatus.com for group because you can share a group with a wider public. I suspect I am going to use TweetDeck for both search and grouping Twitter people I wish to follow.
Update: This application is in beta, and I've had a few problems with speed and updates.
Update: 7/5/08 After a day of monitoring TweetDeck it appears the time it takes to update columns is slow, that might be a Twitter issue, or Summize. While the update time is an issue for the search columns from Summize. It will be quicker to use Summize searches than TweetDeck at the moment, because I don't have as good a solution for groups anyway, TweetDeck still has a lot of utility when it comes to grouping people I follow.