Last year, on September 11, I received my 666th direct message on Twitter. That folks, is just plain evil and scary, so I knew it was time to do something.
Let’s face it: Twitter direct messages aren’t being used as they were originally intended. Instead, DMs have become a way for [intlink id="1539" type="post"]Twitter Trash[/intlink] (and other unknowing folks) to send canned auto-responses when you follow them, and obnoxious spammers to spread their ugly links around.
Yep, my DM inbox contained more spam than the Great State of Hawaii or a theatrical production of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
But, like the Holy Grail, finding a free third party Twitter app to tackle this issue is really tough. Once upon a time, back before Twitter started making money (wait, that’s still now… nevermind) the Wild World Web was populated by all sorts of apps that could do all sorts of amazing things.
But, thanks to changes in Twitter’s policies, these digital cowboys are as functionally neutered as the steer that they drive across the interweb.
Okay, that metaphor got ugly fast. Give me a break, I’ve been on my uncle’s cattle ranch in Caldwell, Texas.
Thankfully, there are still a few powerful Twitter apps out there. I turned to some of my favorites:
- My trusty friend, Twitter Karma, which allows you to see a comprehensive list of tweeps who you follow, who follow you, and for whom the following feeling is mutual, was no match for the job.
- Tweetake, a third party app that allows you to back up your Tweets, follower list, and DMs, could not cut the mustard.
- DM Whacker, aka DM Deleter (for those who felt the old name was a little too reminiscent of a masturbatory mobster) is a bookmarklet tool that can mass delete DMs, even wipe them all out. Now we’re getting somewhere—but bookmarklets are so 2009.
So I gave up looking. In fact, I generally gave up on Twitter, which has become a little too reminiscent of a masturbatory mobster, and gave up on blogging, and gave up on Facebook… you get the idea.
Okay, when I say “gave up” I mean that I didn’t spend every waking moment on social media sites. But, still, it IS amazing how productive I was for those few months—proof that sometimes we spend too much time “blogging.”
Then I bought a Droid Eris, named it Artoo, and with access to Twitter (using Seesmic) and Facebook and WordPress and (be still my heart) Foursquare, I was back in the social media world. Tack on that wacky Blogathon business, and I’m in it deep again.
My DM count, eight months later? In the 1000s.
So, today, I went roaming around again for a new solution. Low and behold, I found:
DM Cleaner possesses all of the same functionality of DM Whacker, but it’s much, much easier to use. After retrieving your DMs from Twitter, DM Cleaner gives you several options (e.g. delete all, delete DMs from blocked users, specific users, specific dates, specific words, etc.), all of which are performed in a click or two.
Personally, I have a few DMs that I’d like to keep, so I used DM Cleaner to clear out DMs that contained the words “follow” or “following,” as in “Hey, I’m a cheesewad, thanks for following me! Check out this lousy link” or “Thanks for the follow. I look forward to connecting with you in a creepy way.”
That took care of over 400 DMs. A few more small deletes and… drumroll… I’m back to 666. Bwahahaha! I just can’t win today.
Not feeling the democracy today? So, tell me, how many extraneous, obnoxious DMs will you clean up today? Tell me how you handle Twitter DMs—is there another amazing app out there that I’m missing? Are you one of those cheesewads that I’m talking about? Leave a comment below.