November 12, 2009

Microblogging with Choqok in openSUSE 11.2

Article Source Dissociated Press
November 12, 2009, 5:35 am

openSUSE 11.2 is out the door today, and I’ve been using it or the release candidates for several weeks. Really enjoying the new release and all the goodies that come with it. One of the packages in this release that’s worth a look is Choqok, a FOSS microblogging app.

Choqok is written for KDE, but it runs equally well under GNOME (and presumably under other desktop environments / window managers as well).

It’s a mostly straightforward application, but there are a few non-0bvious features worth pointing out.

Choqok supports Twitter and Identi.ca, as well as custom Laconi.ca / Status.net instances. Just go to Settings -> Configure Choqok and then select the Accounts tab. You’ll need accounts on one or more microblogging service, of course.

Choqok also handles multiple accounts, so if you’re tweeting / denting on multiple services and/or managing multiple user-names (say, a personal account and a project account) Choqok makes it easy to manage those all from one interface.

The only problems I have with Choqok so far are that some of the features aren’t as obvious as they could be, and that the application doesn’t support Bit.ly for URL shortening. I like Bit.ly because I can track the stats of the URLs — clickthrus, reposts on Twitter, etc.

Let’s tackle some of the less-obvious features.

Following a user: When someone @replys you, you might want to follow that user from the Choqok interface. But it’s not immediately clear how to do that.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Click their name in the ‚Äústream‚Äù of updates.
  • Select ‚Äúwhois‚Äù from the menu that pops up.
  • You‚Äôll see a pop-up with information about the user. There‚Äôs a small icon that shows a figure and a plus sign. Click that and you‚Äôre done!

Choqok also allows you to easily reply and re-tweet or re-dent other people’s posts. Again, this isn’t entirely intuitive if you haven’t use a microblogging application before.

To do this, hover the mouse over the person’s icon on the left-hand side. You’ll see several very small icons appear over the avatar. The arrow is for RT’ing or RD’ing posts. The star is to mark that post as a favorite (great for updates that have links you want to visit later) and the ♻ icon allows you to automatically RT or RD the post.

 

One of my favorite features in Choqok is the ability to see the context of a conversation. Often, you’ll see tweets that are sort of ambiguous without the preceding conversation. If someone is replying to a message, you can click “in reply to” and it will show the previous update.

 

Or, on the right side of the Choqok interface, you’ll see a tiny icon like the one highlighted here:

 

 

Click that and it’ll take you to a context window with the whole conversation. It’s really convenient!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, you can also use Choqok to send direct messages and so on, and pretty much everything you can do from the Web interfaces. Definitely one of the best additions to openSUSE 11.2 for folks who use social media a lot!

Click Here!