Trying to keep up to date with Twitter is cumbersome and often a chore. Using browser addons is more often a waste of resources and a distraction. Same also applied with instant messenging. As much as I loved Miranda IM and its minimalistic, yet complex infrastructure, I opted to make my instant messenging as barebones and convenient for maximum productivity.
Therefore, I set off on a quest to find a bridge between the two and consolidate all of my online social life into one application. After a couple hours of endless browsing and testing, I arrived to the conclusion of using an IRC client and Bitlbee.
Why use IRC (Internet Relay Chat) to combine the two? Simply because IRC is the easiest and least distracting form of communication in contrast to any twitter convenience site or IM client (excluding miranda IM). Additionally, IRC is not as fearsome as most people might think it is. Also, IRC is very light on resources too (It’s just text).
Bitlbee is one of the cleanest and most useful service ever offered for online instant messenging and keeping up to date with twitter comrades. Bitlbee can work as a standalone program on a server. For those who do not know how to install it to a server or don’t own a server, one can register a account on any of the free Bitlbee servers and use it immediately. Registering an account and setting it up is rather a painless process and the Bitlbee bot will walk the user through the whole process. Right now, Bitlbee currently supports XMPP/Jabber (including Gtalk), Yahoo, MSN, AIM, ICQ and Twitter.
So far, Bitlbee allows the user to see the most recent activity of his or her twitter account since the last time that person logged in. By most recent activity, Bitlbee will fetch all the twitter updates from one’s followers as well as the tweets that the user made. Bitlbee will also tell the user what the current tweet of his/her username. Although it is still undergoing development, one can still use the interface to make new tweets, retweet, reply, follow, unfollow, and update one’s twitter status. As a result, I never had to go back to my browser or any other client to peruse through my twitter feed.
Bitlbee does not require any extensive IRC knowledge. The only IRC lingo that one needs to know is how to connect to an IRC server. That is all. As far as IRC clients are concerned, I recommend using X-chat-2 since it is free and more user friendly than mIRC. X-chat-2 can also be made portable with ease.
Bitlbee site: http://www.bitlbee.org