BeTwittered Users Guide

This page covers the basics of BeTwittered.  One of my design goals with BeTwittered is for it to be intuitive enough that not much of a guide is required.  If something is not already obvious, I’m hoping that a quick read through this document will be enough.  If not, please let me know!  You can email me at robert@arlesnet.com and let me know what you think could be made better.  I’m very open to discussion.

Just want to install BeTwittered? Click away…

For Blogger Users

Add to Google

BeTwittered for iGoogle (Twitter Users, choose this one!)

Add to Google

BeTwittered-Identica (Identi.ca)

Add to Google

Betwittered-Canteen (TWiT Army)

Those Controls And Buttons, And What They Do… (from top to bottom)

Your Twitter Name:

This is a link to your Twitter homepage.  Nice and simple.  Something interesting to note: If you go over your hourly quota (see the “Refresh” section below) you can still check your tweets from your actual Twitter home page.  Is it interesting that they don’t put a limit on their own Twitter client, which is the most heavily used one?  (just kidding, I’m not bitter, not right now)

Feedback Feedback:

This is just link to make it convenient for you to send me a nasty-gram, question, or praise about how BeTwittered has simply changed your whole life.  Seriously, you can use the email address I mentioned in the opening paragraph, or just click this little icon in BeTwittered.  Let me know your thoughts!

Refresh Refresh:

Click on the refresh button if you want to get an update. Yes, it does refresh automatically, every few minutes or according your preference, but you can force a refresh when you are feeling a little anxious and lonely. Careful, though. Twitter puts a cap on each persons hourly usage. You may cut yourself off for a few minutes if you get overzealous.  The hour period they measure is a sliding window, so if you get a “hourly quota reached” sort of message, you can relax for about 5 minutes and you should be back to Twitter nirvana.

Settings Settings:

Click on the settings button, and you can tweak BeTwittered a bit:

  • Display Avatars. These are on by default. BeTwittered does not look as nice without them, but you’ll get more room for your friends messages, and it looks less like you are goofing off at work without them ;-)
  • Display Timestamps. These are also on by default. You may want to turn off timestamps to save space if you are on a small screen.
  • Refresh Rate.  Set this to your liking.  If you follow a lot of people, or have some really chatty friends, you can set the refresh as low as 1 minute.  Again, be a bit careful, as I noted above.  There is a cap on hourly usage.
  • Font Size.  Are your eyes getting a bit, uh, aged, like mine?  You can choose to use a larger font.  If you are a snotty young punk wanting to show off your nifty high performance eyes, you can even choose a smaller font.  Just don’t let me know or I may cause BeTwittered to stop working well for you.
  • Logout. This is purposely hidden here so you, well actually, so *I* wouldn’t click it accidentally since the gadget is paced in a bit tight. Logging out clears your user name and password that are stored on your computer (password is stored in a cookie, but it is encrypted)

Character count:

The character count (or countdown, to be more accurate) is right under the “Tweet!” button. It’s there as a way to judge how much you are spouting off, and how much more you will be allowed to spout off before Twitter will viciously hack off the end of your message. Twitter only allows 140 characters per “tweet” due to the limits in using SMS from cell phones.

The Tabs:

These should be pretty easy to understand.  If you are just getting started, or have never wandered off from the standard timeline, here is what you have been missing:

  • Friends:  You know this one.  It’s even the one where Twitter starts you off.  Everything you and all of your friends say show up here.
  • Replies:  This one shows you only the messages directed to you.  That means any message where the very first word was @yourname.
  • Directs: This tab shows the messages that were sent to you directly, like replies, but ONLY you can see them.  These are the messages from people that you follow, and the very first TWO words were “d yourname”  OK.  I know, thats a letter and a word.  It was easier to say that way.  Quit picking on my grammar.
  • Other: This tab is just the gateway to some other stuff:
  • Public:  This is the timeline of everything anybody tweets publicly.  It’s fun to watch occasionally.
  • Favorites: Things you tagged as a favorite.  BeTwittered lets you tag tweets by clicking the little star at the end of each tweet.  It turns gold if you favorite something.  I just think of this as bookmarking.
  • Archive: This is the archive of tweets that you sent.  Do you forget, like me?  I sometimes go back to see what kind of things I say. Sometimes I’m a bit surprised.  Man I can be strange.
  • Search: Want to search twitter?  You can go to http://search.twitter.com, or just open the search tab in BeTwittered.  Type someones name, a word you just love, anything.  Go ahead, do it!

http://betwittered.com/betwitteredbeta/images/888888_11x11_icon_arrows_updown.gif Show/Hide Controls:

This little, easily missed control (http://betwittered.com/betwitteredbeta/images/888888_11x11_icon_arrows_updown.gif) will hide the text area and the controls/buttons to it’s right.  This is a nice way to get more tweets to show in the space available.  If you do hide the controls, clicking this button again will un-hide them.  Also when the controls are hidden, you can  just click on the reply or direct message buttons in any tweet, and the text box will reappear along with the controls.

Things in Each Message:

Click on a persons avatar/picture, their name or an @username reference.  It will take you to their Twitter page.

Click on hash tag (like #BeTwittered) and it will take you to the Twitter search page and run a search for that tag.

Click on a web link (URL) and it will take you to, well, the web page.  Thought of that feature myself!

There are 4 icons at the end of each Tweet:

  • More Info:  There’s a bunch of info about the sender here, -and-  if it’s a reply, there is a link to that message as well.
  • Reply: This will start a reply to your friend.  It puts @username in the text box for you, and tags the message as a reply to the original.
  • Direct Message: This will start a direct message to you friend for you ( it puts “d username” in the text box to get you started)
  • Favorite:  Click on the star and it will be added to your Favorites, and show up in the “Favorites” tab.

The Bottom Bar:

No, you can’t get a beer or a drink here.  It’s just the bar at the bottom of BeTwittered.  There are paging functions down there so you can page back and check out older messages that you may have missed while off getting coffee or chit-chatting when you should have been twittering.  As you page back (or forward) it will also indicate how many pages back you have gone.  There is also another refresh button/indicator down here.  It’s tiny, but if you scroll down and want to refresh, there it is, nice and handy.
Thats it.  I’m done writing for now.

Robert

Did I miss anything, or confuse you?  Let me know: robert@arlesnet.com

9 thoughts on “BeTwittered Users Guide”

  1. The twittersearch gadget works great on Firefox but on Safari only displays an adchoices ad. Nothing else. I cannot seem to figure out how to get the gadget to work on Safari. Ideas?

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