echofon-logoAbout once a year I do some major spring cleaning on my Desktop. I re-evaluate all the applications in my work flow, and decide if I’d be better off with a replacement for some of them. Things usually stay close to the same, but the one service that seems to get a overhaul year after year is my Twitter clients.

I guess it’s more of a key indicator in that no application seems to have everything on lock down. They all do something great, but none of them seem to do everything great. I’ve been relying heavily on TweetDeck this year to help me track some keywords related to the site so I can keep my finger on the pulse of the Mac community, but outside of that TweetDeck doesn’t really do it for me any more. I’m starting to wonder if I need two clients. One to track keywords, and one for personal use.

I’ve been messing with a new application lately and I’m a bit torn about it. Echofon seems light weight, and it has some nice features, but ultimately I can’t get beyond the user interface. I understand that it’s completely a personal opinion type of thing, but I get really confused on how to use it. I’m a purest at heart, and use twitter like it was originally intended, mentions, DM’s, and tweets. I throw up the occasional link, but I’m not a big fan of posting all kinds of other information to twitter. Echofon is pretty good at that, I have to say. It’s a streamlined client that keeps things to a minimum, which is a huge plus for me, but the funny thing is that it has other features as well, hidden features. If I didn’t “accidentally” click on an avatar (evidentially, you can also click the username) of one of those hot spammers I never would have known that a bunch more information was available for each user. Sleek is good, but there needs to be a better way to let people know that other features exist without making them have to stumble on it.

Once the accidental click happened I got access to that particular individuals timeline, a list of their followers, and a list of who they were following. All pretty handy features, but it also lets you unfollow people right from that pane, so it came in really handy when I realized the spammer was just trying to get me to buy fertility drugs by using a suggestive pose.

It has built in search, but from what I can tell, no way to save that search at all. That makes tracking trends pretty difficult. In todays twitterscape (lame, I know!) having access to trend tracking is 60% of what twitter is used for, not having the ability to save those settings is a major oversight.

But, lets cut them slack. Echofon is in Beta, and they certainly could fix a lot of these things up in the future. If they manage to work out some of these GUI problems and get saveable searches implemented this application could find itself not only on my machine, but also being used full time over the other Twitter applications.

Props goes to @bradyV for making the suggestion.

Image Credit: TarikB

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