Hands up if you're a Twitterholic. Yes, my hand's up too. If you love the micro-blogging platform Twitter as much as I do, then keep reading. I've put together a líst of the coolest plug-ins and apps designed for us Twitterholics and scored each out of five on the *must have* scale. Twitter Specific Tools: 1) TwitterFox is a Firefox extension that notifies you of your friends' status on Twitter and lets you make posts from your browser status bar. It also allows you to switch between multiple Twitter accounts in one click. This is my #1 must-have, deal-breaker, cannot live without Twitter plug-in. Must Have Scale (5): • • • • • 2) Retweet This is an application designed for use with the Greasemonkey Firefox plug-in. It allows you to append a retweet button to the end of each Twitter entry to encourage your followers to retweet your posts. Must Have Scale (3): • • • 3) Classify Twitter Users is a script that allows you to classify Twitter users and decide whether they are worth following based on their friends, followers and post ratios. Another Greasemonkey app, it's a great tool to help you weed out the Twitter spammers and fan boys from the socially healthy. You can set the script to use your Twitter user scales (e.g. spammer, social climber, social rock star) or just gather more information about people you are following. Must Have Scale (4): • • • • 4) TwittAd allows Twitter users to monetize their account by accepting advertising on the background image of their Twitter user profile. You decide the duration and price advertisers pay for exposure and get paíd for every hour you serve the ad. Must Have Scale (2): • • 5) TwitterCounter lets you add a daily updating TwitterCounter to your blog so everybody can see how popular you are by the number of persons following you. Must Have Scale (3): • • • 6) TweetBeep is just like having Google Alerts for Twitter. It enables you to keep track of conversations that mention you, your products or your company via email. You can even keep track of who's tweeting your website or blog. It's a great tool for online reputation management and you don't even have to be a Twitter user to benefit from it. TweetBeep is another one of my personal *must haves*. Must Have Scale (4): • • • • 7) Twitter Grader measures the reach and authority of a Twitter user, calculated by the pace of their updates, the completeness of their profile, their number of followers and the network power of those followers. Twitter Grader displays as a score out of 100 and is consistently updating and adapting as your Twitter account grows. Based on those grades, Twitter Grader lists the Twitter Elite globally and in each country, just like Technorati does for bloggers. Must Have Scale (3): • • • 8) TwitPic, as the name suggests, is a photo sharing tool for Twitter. When logged in, it allows you to upload photos and post them with comments as a Tweet. It works with a range of Twitter clients such as Twitterific, Twhirl and MobileTwitter and stores all your photos in a single location with updated viewing stats. As far as Twitter image sharing goes, this is king for reliability. Must Have Scale (5): • • • • • 9) Twuffer is a Twitter buffer. It allows Twitter users to compose a líst of future tweets, and schedule their release. Twuffer is ideal for making hourly, daily or monthly announcements or send post-dated birthday greetings or reminders to people about upcoming events. It's also perfect if you're the type of person who wants to give the impression that you don't ever sleep. Must Have Scale (3): • • • 10) Twistori I have a real soft spot for this one. One of the developers is Amy Hoy, one of my favorite speakers from Webstock 2008 and a goth geek to boot. Twistori is a social experiment that taps into the Twitter conversations revolving around life's central activities: Love, Hate, Think, Believe, Feel, Wish. You can click on any of these emotions and witness a live feed of Tweets that use them. It's voyeuristic and utterly compelling. Must Have Scale (4): • • • • 11) iTweet is another interface for Twitter. It has built-in auto-refresh, search and hash tags and features full follow, block and notifications features. Users can view and post user bio, location and URLs inline with their tweets. Another cool feature of iTweet is the ability to Retweet a user post with a single click. Must Have Scale (3): • • • 12) Twitturly is a service for tracking what URLs people are talking about as they talk about them on Twitter. Similar to Digg, on Twitturly, people "vote" for a URL. The more votes it gets the better it ranks. If it does well enough, it gets promoted to the home page and as the votes rise it gets displayed higher up the home page. Twitturly differs from Digg in that instead of voting on their site, you vote by participating on Twitter. Each time that you send a link to your followers on Twitter, Twitturly takes a note of it and applies your vote to that URL. It's a great way to follow the loudest global conversations. Must Have Scale (4): • • • • 13) Mr Tweet is another big favorite of mine. Similar to LinkedIn , it looks through your extended network and makes suggestions to help you build effective relationships on Twitter. For example, which of your followers should you be following in return? Who are the most influential people you should be following? Who are your followers following? Must Have Scale (5): • • • • • 14) Twitter Search is Twitter's own built-in and oft-overlooked search tool. You can use it to search for other Twitter users, keywords, hash tag topics and a range of cool shortcut items. Must Have Scale (4): • • • • Non Twitter Specific Tools: 15) FlipTitle is, not surprisingly, a tool that enables you to flip text upside down. It's great for Twitter because sometimes your tweets can get lost in the conversation. Using FlipTitle makes sure they get noticed. Must Have Scale (2): • • 16) Bit.ly is a very cool URL shortener that also includes click-thru statistics. Why is it perfect for Twitter? Because the length of the converted URLs is generally much shorter than other URL converters like TinyURL. When you are tweeting, space is premium as your whole post can only consist of 140 characters including spacing. The other neat thing aspect of Bit.ly is that it keeps a record of clicks that your URLs received and where they originated from. It even provides a share button so you can re-tweet your URLs on Twitter or send them to friends on Facebook, Gmail or another email client. Must Have Scale (5): • • • • • So there you have it, 16 cool tools to help you indulge your Twitter addiction. Happy Tweeting!