This evening during the weekly Oklahoma Educational Chat (#OklaEd) I learned the website TweetChat has gone offline, apparently for an upgrade. TweetChat has been my preferred website and tool in the past to use for educational Twitter chats. Here are the TweetChat alternatives I learned about thanks to the suggestions of several others, in my order of preference.

1. Tchat.io

Tchat.io is the most “TweetChat-like” web service I have used to date. I like how it auto-magicly inserts the hashtag you’re following / using during a Twitter chat, just like TweetChat did. This is going to be my go-to Twitter chat site/tool now, at least for the time being! Thanks to Jerry Blumengarten (@cybraryman1) for suggesting it.

2. TwitterFall

Twitterfall is an excellent website to use at events like conferences when you want to showcase tweets that others are sharing, as they happen, on a large screen. It has a nice presentation mode ideal for digital signage or to show on a secondary projector in a classroom or auditorium. It doesn’t auto-insert a hashtag for you, but it does have a nice interface with live updates. It seems a bit delayed compared to other sites and options, but I really like the interface. Thanks to Jonathan Brubaker (@mia_sarx) for reminding me of it tonight.

3. TweetDeck

TweetDeck is a flexible platform for engaging in Twitter conversations on multiple platforms and devices. I like TweetDeck’s Chrome browser extension, but it’s also available as a native app for Mac or Windows. The English WikiPedia entry for TweetDeck gives some more background on it, but a big reason it’s so good is because it’s now owned and run by Twitter itself. Unfortunately the TweetDeck iOS app is no longer available, but the browser-based experience and the Chrome experience are good. Quick refreshes and good flexibility. Thanks to Kevin Hime (@coach57) for reminding me of it tonight.

4. HootSuite

I’m a devoted fan of HootSuite, although I still use the free version. It’s the primary web interface I use on my laptop to reply and post to Twitter. I like following hashtags with HootSuite, but find its refresh speed to be FAR too slow to be useful for live edchats. Still, it’s an awesome Twitter tool and is worth mentioning and checking out.

5. Twubs

Twubs is the only Twitter chat client on this list which I haven’t tried out yet myself, but it sounds very TweetChat-like. Thanks to Kit Hard (@kithard) for suggesting it.

What’s your preferred tool for keeping up with and participating effectively in educational Twitter chats?

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