The Twitter website and most desktop clients of Twitter present status updates of people you follow in a “River of News” format. That is, the most recent updates of your Twitter friends are always displayed at the top and these get pushed down as new messages arrive.

Why do friends get ignored on Twitter?

You are comfortable reading news in the river style but it present one major problem. Say you have two friends on Twitter – Mr. Active who sends a new tweet every 5 minutes and Mr. Busy who rarely tweets. Now in the current format, you are most likely to miss all updates of Mr. Busy because his tweets will continuously get pushed down by Mr. Active.

So you have no intention to ignore Mr. Busy but he is still getting ignored because your Twitter App is using the River format that naturally favors Mr. Active.

Never miss Twitter updates from less-active friends

Twitter updates without the River

There are however some good solutions to this practical problem:

Twit100 – This app creates some sort of a collage of all the people you follow on Twitter (see example) – you can read their most recent updates in one go and the page will auto-refresh every 3 minutes.

Twitter For Busy People – The Twitter 100 mashup discussed above work great for people who follow only a few dozen people on Twitter but if you have hundreds of contacts on Twitter, check out Twitter for Busy People.

This mashup displays a series of thumbnails of your Twitter friends in order of their most recent updates. You can then hover the mouse over any of these thumbnail images to read the most recent status update from that person. Or click the “more” link to see the last 25 updates from the friend without closing that pop-up. Pretty cool.

For more tips & tricks, check out The Twitter Guide.