It was a dark dark day for marketers when Twitter bought TweetDeck and closed the old development path in favour of releasing a stripped back and simplified new version.

Since then, many have chosen to stick with the old download of TweetDeck available from sites like Old Apps, myself included. Others will have made the leap to HootSuite, thanks to its close ‘column-based’ similarity.

But these options leave you stuck in the past, clinging to a client that has buttons for sharing to Google Buzz and MySpace (!)

What hope is there on the horizon for a new tool that lets marketers post to and monitor different accounts quickly and easily from a native app?

Today, the latest upgrades to the alpha of Tweetbot have suddenly burst it into the running as a potential candidate. Anyone who has used the iOS apps will be right at home with the interface but this desktop equivalent has now added the ability to pop out columns and build a custom ‘deck’ from different accounts.

You can in fact create various lineups pinned together to give you different levels of detail or lump different topics together – even handier with OS X’s multiple desktops.

Any marketer will know that it’s these columns that are essentially to monitoring the vast range of searches, accounts, mentions and suchlike that our jobs require today.

It also really makes the most of what separates a native app from web apps, integrating with Mountain Lion’s notifications center and including little interface touches like swipes on tweets to see the full conversation.

Perhaps best of all, we’re looking at version 0.6.3 of the software here -an alpha offered for free to all Mac users. With that in mind, and the knowledge that the designer of the previous best Twitter app Tweetie (which was bought by Twitter and became the official iOS and Mac app) has now left the company, it’s hard to see many apps out there with a brighter future.

What would I like to see next? I know it’s Tweetbot but adding extra networks would be the icing on the cake. It would also be great to have more options to pass a tweet on via e.g. email. But I can wait for those, it’s worth your time to give it a try today.

Now we just have to hope Twitter doesn’t buy it and ruin it…