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A love-hate relationship with Twitter: Tweetdeck makes the difference.

In a local radio commercial, a father and daughter are walking along, when the daughter exclaims "Mom just sent a tweet! Dad, you should tweet!" Dad is unimpressed and asks if they have "grownup words for this stuff".  The daughter tells Dad that he should advertise his business with tweets. Since the commercial is promoting broadcast radio advertising, Dad remains unconvinced.

Perhaps you've signed up for a Twitter account and wondered what the big deal was. It has short bursts of content, lots of spam, and it can be hard to follow what you might be interested in. Then came Tweetdeck.

Tweetdeck is a third party application that logs into your Twitter account and helps you organize it. There are already columns for your Friends, Direct Messages, and Mentions (anytime you are mentioned on Twitter).

You can add as many columns as you like for information or people you would like to follow. Want to keep up with tweets in your city or town? Make a column. To see everything in Dayton, I had to do columns for both "Dayton OH" and "#Dayton". I also added nearby  Springfield and Xenia as columns. (The only drawback is sometimes getting tweets for other Springfields or Springfield Streets). Have a special interest, like Nascar? You can set up a column for that. Same with any other city, state or interest. An instant message window pops up when a new tweet is received, then disapears in a few second. There is a tweet sounder, but that can be turned off.

Twitter through Tweetdeck can keep you up to date on all the happenings in your location. When the tragic deaths or four people occurred on I-70 in Springfield during a snowstorm, one could literally watch that news and prayer requests tweet their way around the nation. A winter storm effects the south, and a "Winter Storm" column would let a weather buff follow it across the country.

Tweeting is simple, and you can also update Linked In and Facebook status. On each message in the columns, you can retweet the message, reply to the originator or send a direct message.

There is a version of Tweetdeck for job seekers called Job Deck. It works the same way as regular Tweetdeck except a user would set columns for interesting jobs and advice. However, the same thing could be done with the original version..

Tweetdeck is a free application, and, as we all know, free is good.