2009/06/04

Switching to the @Mixero Twitter Client

*NOTE* I have only watched one of the video’s on Mixero’s site for features/usage, so this is nearly all from my own experience with the client after a single day.

I had heard about the Mixero Twitter client what seems like a few weeks ago now (or about a week ago according to when I first tweeted about it), and this morning I was pleasantly surprised with an invite code for it.  Now I wouldn’t consider myself a heavy user of Twitter, but I seem to be more active among those I talk with in person regularly (outside of my friend Curt).  I like to see what people have on their minds and thus I enjoy watching the stream of tweets float on by.  Previously I’ve used TweetDeck to keep up on things, but I quickly hit a limit in the number of columns to effectively keep open at any point.  Considering that in TweetDeck a group only existed as long as it was visible, it was inefficient to remove a group for a short time because if I wanted to bring it back I’d have to recreate the whole thing.  Major pain.  Plus, even when I had the application full screened, the number of columns caused the horizontal scroll bar to appear.  Plus the notifications for @replies and direct messages wasn’t exactly noticeable unless you kept those columns open as well.  So that horizontal scroll bar was used far more than was necessary, often for no good reason.

That’s part of the reason I’m digging Mixero so far.  The notifications section is just plain awesome.  Direct Messages and @replies appear as little speech bubbles off your avatar.  Pretty cool stuff right there.  When you have unread items in either, the icon visibly changes.

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Like TweetDeck, you can create groups to easily manage your stream.  The nice thing in Mixero is that you can create groups, but not necessarily keep a visible display of that group’s updates open at all times.  So you can have a group set up for future knowledge.  Like people you know that generally talk about conferences, and you’re only interested in that information for a couple months out of the year.  Set up the group and forget about it until conference season comes up again.  You can also associate 48x48 pictures to a group as well.  They have a limited canned selection to choose from, but they also perform a Google search based on the group name and returns the first ~8 results to choose from as well.  These are seen in the Active List.

Mixero ClientAn interesting feature of Mixero is the “Active List” and Contexts.  I haven’t quite found a good use for multiple contexts yet, because I like to have as much of the information available when I open the client without having to click and change things.  But with a context you have an associated Active List.  An Active list can hold a group or individual users, and it will give you and update of how many unread tweets there are from those groups/users.  Nice and easy way to see at a glance if there’s anything to read up on.

The next cool feature of Mixero is when you open up a user or group’s status, you have the option of creating a new window that’s movable separate from the main client bar.  This means you can move a window full of updates wherever you want to on your screen.  Keep a couple important ones open at all times, cover your screen with windows (similar to TweetDeck running maximized), or only open up the groups as you read through them.  Because I like to clear groups of tweets at a time, I’ve gone with the “Cover your screen” approach.

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I haven’t really run into any bugs, per se, but more like “well that’s a strange way to behave”.  Like the difference a read update and an unread one is that the unread updates are in black text and the read updates are in ~56% gray text.  Personally I like TweetDeck's visible indicator of read/unread, but that may just be my familiarity with it talking.

If they steal gain insight from some of TweetDeck's features, it will definitely become the key Twitter client for power users.  Start following them on Twitter now and soon you may get an invitation code to start using the client as well.

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