There’s a new Twitter tool around and it’s called Twylah. I’ve had the pleasure of testing it during the alpha phase (when it was called Tweetlogue) and now it’s about to be rolled out more widely. According to founder Eric Kim, Twylah aims to give you a new view of incoming and outgoing tweets with more “context, perspective, and agility”. Here’s how it works.
Connect Twylah to your Twitter account in the usual way, wait a short while and you’ll soon get a different view of your account. All Twylah pages feature a two-column interface with some red tabs at the top. The tabs provide a guide to the topics most covered in that view, while what’s in the columns varies according to your selection. There are three important views to be aware of.
New Twitter Views
The home page (http://my.twylah.com/) shows your tweets in the left column (that is, tweets originated by you), with tweets from people in your stream in the right column. Select any tweet to get the option to reply inline and have your reply automatically appear on Twitter. You can see the number of replies at the end of a tweet. Click on a link or shortened URL to see it previewed inline – and it’s a good sized preview, too – about a paragraph. This is more than enough to judge whether you want to follow the link.
The ‘My Twylah Blog’ view (here’s mine) shows your tweets in the left column, with conversations or expanded links in the right column, while looking at ‘My Stream’ (here’s mine) shows the same thing for the people you follow. You can also look at tweets for your lists, which will take a short time to process the first time you load them.
Drilling Down With Twylah
The real gold in Twylah is in the red tabs across the top. If you’ve ever wondered which topics you tweet about most, those tabs will show you. You can also see sub-topics for each of those topics. Click on a topic to see a filtered list of your tweets on a topic and any replies. These tabs really let you drill down into topics, see what people you follow have said about topics and check out the Twylah pages of your favorite tweeps to see what their main topics are.
What’s more, Twylah removes the 140 character Twitter posting limit, allowing you to post longer, more thoughtful posts which it shortens automatically using bit.ly. The short URL takes users back to your Twylah blog.
How Twylah Helps Bloggers
Here’s where I think Twylah’s useful for writers and bloggers. It provides an easy way to find out what your social circle are interested in generally and to target your posts and tweets to your audience. The topical segmentation can help with generating writing ideas. What’s more, Eric Kim’s research into audience engagement through Twylah suggests that instead of spending 4-6 seconds on a tweet, when readers go to the Twylah blog page they may spend as much as three minutes browsing around.
Eric also says that because Twylah creates a personally branded mini-blog composed of each users tweets, it makes it easier to get your tweets found outside of Twitter clients and apps – and through the search engines.
Using Twylah – My Verdict
So, what’s it really like to use Twylah? I have to say that I’m pretty impressed so far. While some of my top topics were obvious, I was surprised to find that ‘freelance writing’ was only a secondary topic – go figure! I love being able to see what topics my favorite tweeple are tweeting about (and you can follow them too) and I love the fact that you can also segment the view by filtering conversations, articles, videos and images. There are just two little niggles for me. There’s no easy way to simply see @ replies for your username – these are integrated into your stream – and DMs have not been included yet. I’m sure it won’t be long, as Twylah has come a long way in the last three months. Although those niggles mean that for now, I can’t use Twylah exclusively, the other features make it a really useful tool which I keep coming back to. If you’re a blogger or writer, you’ll get value from Twylah – give it a try or follow Twylah on Twitter to find out more.