Posted in Social Media by
Anthony Hortin
(Updated: November 12, 2011)

Probably the most useful Twitter tools around are the various desktop clients that allow you to view your followers tweets. The majority of these run on the Adobe Air platform. Adobe AIR is a cross-operating system runtime that lets developers combine HTML, Ajax, Adobe Flash® and Flex technologies to deploy Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) on the desktop.

Two of the most popular tools are Seesmic Desktop and Tweetdeck. Both have very similar functionality including the ability to follow/unfollow users, view user profiles, perform searches, create group/userlists, Facebook integration and the obvious tweet, @ Reply and DM.

When I originally joined Twitter, I started using Tweetdeck as it seemed the most popular tool out there in the Twitterverse. After using it for a while though, I found that it was quite unstable. After upgrading (or I should say downgrading!) my PC to a Vista 64bit environment, I found that Tweetdeck was even more unreliable. Even on a clean build, I found that Tweetdeck would consistently crash approximately every half hour. When your sitting at your PC from early morning to late at night with Tweetdeck open in the background, it starts to get quite frustrating having to restart it so often throughout the day. I’m not the only one experiencing these problems as well. Since moving to Seesmic Desktop, this issue is no longer a problem. I find that Seesmic is very stable even when left open, running in the background for 10-15hrs a day.

When you’re following a large number of Tweeple, the Group or Userlist functionality in these applications is extremely useful. I use it to create a group containing all of the Creatives I follow, such as Web Designers, Graphic & Identity Designers, Developers etc. etc.. One of the drawbacks of both of these applications is the lack of an “import/export” facility so as to be able to migrate your settings from one machine to another. Moving constantly between a desktop workstation and a laptop, it can get frustrating having to re-create & update the groups separately on each machine. Fortunately, there is a solution. It’s not exactly elegant but it is a workaround that does work and as such, saves you a considerable amount of duplication.

Seesmic Desktop

All your Seesmic settings for Userlists, Searches and your configuration settings are contained in an XML file called xmlAdapter.xml. This file simply needs to be copied from one machine to the other and hey presto! Everything’s the same. I’ve only tested this between machines running the same Operating System. I haven’t tried copying the files from a Windows machine to a Mac or vice-versa. Theoretically though, it should work as well. The xmlAdapter.xml file can be found in the following location, depending on your OS.

Max OS X
/Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/com.seesmic.desktop.client.<RANDOM>/Local Store/config

Windows XP
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\com.seesmic.desktop.client.<RANDOM>\Local Store\config

Windows Vista & Windows 7
C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\com.seesmic.desktop.client.<RANDOM>\Local Store\config

Ubuntu & most Linux distributions
/home/<user>/.appdata/com/seesmic.desktop.client.<RANDOM>/Local Store/config


Your Tweetdeck settings are contained in two seperate files. One is an XML file called preferences_<twitter_username>.xml and the other is a file called td_26_<twitter_username>.db. Simply copy these files between your machines and magicadabra! Again, I’ve only tested this between machines running the same OS but in theory, you should be able to do it between different OS’s. The files can be found in the following location, depending on your OS.

Max OS X
/Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/TweetDeckFast.<RANDOM>/Local Store

Windows XP
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\TweetDeckFast.<RANDOM>\Local Store

Windows Vista & Windows 7
C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\TweetDeckFast.<RANDOM>\Local Store

Ubuntu & most Linux distributions
/home/<user>/.appdata/com/TweetDeckFast.<RANDOM>/Local Store

As with performing any kind of workaround like this, make sure you create a backup of your original config file(s) before overwriting them.

I’d love to hear if either of these tips were helpful and if they did or didn’t work for you. Leave a comment and let me know.

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