Darren Waters

Toys leave me a-twitter

  • Darren Waters
  • 17 Apr 08, 16:13 GMT

I've been using Twitter a lot recently, thanks to the application Twhirl.

twhirl.gifIt's powered by Adobe AIR, which means it runs on both Macs and Windows, and makes using Twitter more pleasurable because it lives outside the browser in an "always-on" fashion.

As soon as a Twitter friends drops a new post I get a little chime and it appears in the Twhirl window.

But just as I was enjoying Twhirl, along came Alert Thingy - another AIR application that makes using FriendFeed more of a pleasure.

And because FriendFeed is a composite of many online tools, including Twitter, I've since switched to Alert Thingy.

But now I've just learned that Twhirl now supports FriendFeed too.

So... every few seconds my laptop chirrups and chimes with new Tweets and new FriendFeed alerts from both applications.

It's a battle of the hyper-connected, AIR-powered tools.

Ultimately it means keeping up-to-date with the minutiae of people's lives has never been easier; if you're into that sort of thing.

Oh - and both Twhirl and Alert Thingy are great demonstrations of just how cool Air applications can be.

PS: Just to repeat what I added to the bottom of my earlier post, the BBC has now upgraded its blogging software so that, amongst other things, it better withstands the volume of comments we get. From today if you want to comment on any BBC blog you will need to register first. You can read more about this on the Editors' blog.


  • Comment number 1.

    Have you tried using Digsby ( ) yet? I found it way better than twhirl. I would go on about the details but you can read them on their site

  • Comment number 2.

    AIR, AIR, AIR!!


    I love Abode AIR. If you haven't guessed already. I remember at the OnAir tour in London being shown Alert Thingy by the design and was impressed (even when it didn't work on stage).

    I didn't know it was out now, guess that's me switching from Snitter :)

  • Comment number 3.

    I have been trying out Jaiku recently - feels more robust and provides for decent conversation - haven't seen many posting apps yet, but it does integrate quite nicely with gtalk. Twitter feels a lot more like Orkut's scrapbook facility.

    There is an AIR alpha available for Linux.

  • Comment number 4.

    Just a note to say that the link to Twhirl above is wrong - it should be

  • Comment number 5.

    There is actually another earlier AIR FriendFeed Desktop App, its called and it ws launched two days before Alert Thingy.

    Its in alpha, but i’ve talked to the developers and a new version is near completion and should be packed with goodies, so it seems to have a new twist on the whole desktop client cenario, and is worth getting acquainted with.


  • Comment number 6.

    I'm a big fan of Twitterific - but I'd be tempted to give Alert Thingy a ride.

    Isn't the problem with these services that they aren't useful until I have a critical mass of friends on them however?

  • Comment number 7.

    Some interesting AIR apps in this space now. I'm showcasing the finest AIR apps around on:

    It seems to be 'the' thing that people are building in AIR at the moment.

  • Comment number 8.

    It's amazing that Google hasn't opened up Jaiku. They're letting Twitter and Friendfeed get so far ahead of them. Jaiku actually combines the best parts of Twitter and Friendfeed into one service. The only thing that will save Jaiku now is dataportability. Let's hope Google really gets behind that movement.

  • Comment number 9.

    When I saw this on your twitter feed I thought you were going to mention how you're Twittering a lot of BBC News Tech stories and blog posts - I presume automatically.

    I don't know what everyone else's thoughts are on this, but personally I've considered un-following a few times. I really enjoyed, and continue to enjoy your actual messages, but I feel like the rest is verging on spam. Is there any chance you'd separate out the plugs and ads for the site into a separate BBCTech twitter feed? I want pure, undiluted djwaters1! :D

    P.S. Yes my name is djpwaters.


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