Avoid Twitter Exploits By Avoiding Twitter.com

It seems that all these Twitter security holes and exploits revolve around the Twitter.com website itself. Some relatively intelligent programmer inserts some code somewhere and, by visiting the compromised profile, you get infected. The ultimate solution? Don’t visit Twitter.com. It seems to make perfect sense to me as I can see no reason you actually need to go to the site. Sure, you’ll miss those gaudy profile backgrounds, but you’ll get over it.

Other reasons for using an alternative web interface include:

  • Probably not blocked at work
  • Most have more advanced features like groups, realtime updates, and embedded media
  • May be much nicer to look at in general

You may wonder why I don’t recommend a desktop client, but I don’t like any of them. They are resource hogs and the UI’s are just not pleasing for me. Also, I can use a web client and get the same experience no matter what computer I’m at. So, here is a list of alternative sites you can use that will also put some powerful tools in your hands in managing your Twitter experience.


iTweet.net is one of the first alternatives to the actual Twitter website that I ever used. Although I’ve moved on, it’s still an excellent site to use. The layout is similar to Twitter.com, but there are many advanced features under the hood if you so choose to use them. This is probably the simplest interface and good for those who don’t need a lot of bells and whistles.


Seesmic Web

This one is still a preview release, which I assume means it’s not even in the alpha/beta stages. It’s pretty simple right now, but those used to the Seesmic Desktop may find the interface familiar. Check it out at Seesmic.com.


Sobees Web (alpha)

Sobees Web also sprouted from an existing desktop client of the same name. The interface is based on Silverlight and, I have to say, is quite nice to look at. It’s very flexible in letting you choose a layout and you can also connect it to Facebook. One issue I have with Sobees is the huge and unnecessary banner across the top that invites you to download the desktop client, as you can see in the screenshot.



Tweetvisor is one of my favorite Twitter interfaces and also one of the most advanced. It packs a bunch of features that make Twitter so much easier to manage. It also embeds videos and photos right in the interface so you don’t have to click a bunch of links to see embedded media. It boasts a couple of different interfaces and also includes groups, which helps you keep up and categorize those you follow. Tweetvisor makes Twitter nicer.



PeopleBrowsr also comes in as one of the most advanced Twitter interfaces. It also connects to pretty much all of your other social networks, including: MySpace, Facebook, Identica, and FriendFeed. It also includes advanced enterprise tools for managing your online brand. This is the interface I use currently. For the full breakdown, check out my post on getting started with PeopleBrowsr.  There are a few reasons why I’ve settled on it, but the main ones are:

  • Easily manage groups, including a VIP list of people. I currently follow 1729 people, but a fraction of those are VIP’s who I can follow in a separate column.
  • Selective posting to multiple services. Not only can I post using Ping.fm within Peoplebrowsr, but I can also select from any of the services I’ve connected with.
  • Scheduled updates and even repeated updates. This is a dangerous feature in the wrong hands, but I can schedule an update for a certain time, or schedule an update to be repeated at an interval. I primarily use this when I know I’ve been posting a lot, but still have something to say. I’ll schedule the post for a time in the near future and give my followers a break.


Do you use any of these services? How do they work for you? What web interfaces for Twitter have you come across that I’ve missed? Inquiring minds want to know.

Disqus Dumps Voting and Implements Likes

Disqus T-Shirt Found in BenSpark's Big Box of ...
Image by BenSpark via Flickr

Just caught a Tweet from Daniel Ha mentioning a new Disqus upgrade. Looks like they’ve dumped their normal ratings system for something more like FriendFeed, allowing you to Like comments. This just goes to show that FriendFeed hit the nail on the head with that simple feature as Facebook and 12seconds.tv (bumps) have both also implemented something similar.

How to Upgrade

I thought I would be able to simply go into my WP admin interface and automatically upgrade the plugin, but it turned out to not be that easy. I wasn’t given any notification that the plugin had an update available. When I accessed the Search/Install interface and searched for Disqus, I saw the updated version, but WP told me my current version was newer. I’m not sure what logic they’re using, but 2.0-xxx is definitely not newer than 2.1-xxx in my book.

I had to uninstall the version I had and manually install the new plugin.

Other Notes

According to the Disqus blog, this update speeds up Disqus in all browsers:

  • Internet Explorer is up to 5x faster
  • FireFox is up to 3x faster
  • Webkit (Safari and Chrome), and Opera is up to 2x faster

There is also a Media menu that allows you to post a video comment (via Seesmic) and Disqus indicates more media functionality may be on the way.

I’m hoping specifically for 12seconds.tv support since that would make video commentators get to the point in a hurry (12 seconds, to be exact) and not ramble on for 20 minutes. This might actually make video comments feasible to view for the average person. As it stands, people avoid looking at video comments like the plague.

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I Guess Video Embeds DO Work in WordPress

I originally got a video camera so that I could post videos of me singing on YouTube. Yeah, I know, lame.

Anyway, I more recently began using Seesmic for recording a workout journal because I find it extremely boring to write down or type what I have done. This information is imperative in making sure I’m progressing, though.

One day, I decided I was going to record myself reciting a verse to one of my songs spoken-word style. A lot of people seemed to enjoy this across the blogosphere. This got me interested in doing more video, so I started my 12 Seconds To A Better Life series on 12seconds.tv.

Until now, I had not embedded any videos here because I remembered running into issues before, but I can’t for the life of me remember now what had happened then because, as you can see below, Seesmic embeds just fine. It seems YouTube, Google Video and a few others need a plugin like Viper’s Video Quicktags.

The moral of the story is to always track what you do. Finding a solution to a problem is like solving a maze. If you don’t keep track of where you’ve been, you will keep hitting the same dead ends. I guess that applies to life in general, too.

Look forward to seeing more of me. The type of content here probably won’t change much, but video definitely allows for more diversity in how it will be presented.

Just for fun, here is me reciting something else on Seesmic.

Follow me at 12seconds.tv, Seesmic, or YouTube

Need an invite for 12seconds? Be one of the first 8 people to leave a comment and ask me for one.

Also, feel free to comment via Seesmic right on my blog 🙂