[update] we have a winner! @anselmbradford was the first person to message me when I reached 1000 followers and has won a Friends of ED book of his choice.
I'm closing in on my 1000th follower on Twitter and thought it would be nice to do a little give away for the occasion.

To give everyone a chance to win, what you need to do to do is post the message below as soon as my follower count hits 1000: @peterelst - I want a Friends of ED book!
The first person to do so wins a book of choice thanks to the kind folks at Friends of ED!

Follow @peterelst on Twitter

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When you go to conferences as much as I do and meet up with old friends and acquaintances, the number one question is: "So, Peter what have you been up to?". I realized that, unless you follow me on twitter and actually read the dozens of messages I post there every week, fairly few people have a clue what I've been doing these last few months. Well here goes, apart from the Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0 courses I teach in Belgium and the UK, I spend a good bit of time tech reviewing several books. Two great titles that are coming out soon are AdvancED Flex 3 (Friends of ED) and the Adobe AIR Cookbook (O'Reilly).

AdvancED Flex 3 Adobe AIR Cookbook

I'm also co-authoring a couple of books, one that has already been announced is AdvancED AIR Applications (Friends of ED).

Turns out I've so far attended 10 events and conferences this year, presented a total 12 sessions and have enjoyed every minute! That said I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep things going at that rate.

While I'd love to be in the position to speak at all conferences that would like to have me over, unless my basic travel and accommodation expenses can be covered (which thankfully and increasing number of conferences are able to do), I'm going to have to become very selective in what I take on. I'd prefer to spend my personal travel budget on community events that genuinely have limited resources or are just starting out. That's not a dig at Adobe MAX by the way, there are different reasons why I won't be speaking there this year.

The ActionScript Conference in Singapore is going to be my last conference speaking engagement of the year and have not confirmed anything for 2009 as of yet.

We'll see how things go, after Singapore I'm heading to India for a couple of weeks and will get back to business again by the end of November.

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Over the months I have tried numerous Twitter clients and few have survived my wrath. Twitter has for me largely taken over from email and IM for staying in touch with colleagues, family and friends. Working with the constraint of 140 characters also tends to make sure people get to the point which you don't always get with email. I'll just walk through some of the clients I've used so far:
Twitterific - www.iconfactory.com/software/twitterrific


Twitterific was great until they decided that they needed to be ad supported, kept running the old version for a while but it was a bit too sparse for my needs anyway and was only available on Mac.

Twhirl - www.twhirl.org


Twhirl was the next candidate, feature wise this was getting closer but I had some issues with the UI and how things were set up. Error handling when Twitter went down or the API request limit had been reached wasn't optimal either. This is probably one of the more popular AIR based Twitter clients but it didn't feel quite right to me.

Twiddict.com - www.twiddict.com


This meant going back to the Twitter web interface, unfortunately around this time things really started going sour and the fail whale kept me company throughout most of the day.

Moving on to Twiddict.com, a web interface that allows you to post your messages even if Twitter is down and they'll make sure it gets delivered as soon as things are back up. Nice, but no friends timeline from that site.

TweetDeck - www.tweetdeck.com


I wanted to try another AIR based client so I can easily run it on my Mac and PC which was just around the time @bigmadkev started mentioning TweetDeck.

TweetDeck is still in early development, am currently running version 0.14 but its already looking very promising and seems to be doing everything a power user needs.

Features that stand out for me are:

- multi column views - grouping your friends - filtering message timeframe - message queuing if offline

TweetDeck doesn't rely just on the Twitter API but is starting to use summize.com for things like replies as well. Advantage there is that it doesn't go against the request limit of the API and it generally seems to be a lot more stable.

I believe version 0.15 is on the way, which from the sounds of it has even more great features. Congrats to Iain Dodsworth for an outstanding job!

Recommend anyone to give it a try, message @tweetdeck to get your beta invite or watch for a public release coming later.

CategoriesAIR, Twitter
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