Tweetchat is a bit like Twinitor, the first tool I featured on this list in that the idea behind it is so simple, yet it makes such a difference when using it.
If you are a reporter covering a council meeting, live event or football match via Twitter and using a hashtag to update, then Tweetchat is the tool for you.
Log on using Twitter and tell it the hashtag you plan to use or follow – in the example above I have used #bcfc, the preferred hashtag for Birmingham City fans. It figures that anyone tweeting about Blues would use this hashtag at the game.
It then brings up all the Tweets relating to that hashtag, with a text box at the top where you tweet – it automatically adds the tweet you’ve chosen. You can reply to the tweets dropping in, set the refresh speed, change the font, and block people whose tweets you don’t feel you want to respond to. You can also set it up so that you only pull in tweets containing hashtags from people you choose – which can make it a handy tool for newsdesks on a big job, and much quicker than setting up a standard Twitter list.
Of course, some of this you can do on Twitter, but the lightweight-feel of the site makes it much more usable on the move, which is crucial for covering live events. In short, rather than just adding information to the hashtag – which is often what reporters find themselves doing – you are part of the conversation from the hashtag, all on one screen.