Mediaphyter – A Communications Cocktail

Five Twitter Imperatives

When I first began micro-blogging on Twitter I did massive amounts of research on all of the nuances that I thought I had to understand before truly reaping the benefits. While there were many great resources, in the end I only understood one thing — I didn’t know where the !%@# to start.

I was recruited specifically into the Twitter fold by Kyle Flaherty during a Horn Group social media boot camp in which he received live tweets from webinar attendees as he gave his presentation. After signing on (and adding Kyle, of course), I just dove in. I tweeted such innocuous comments as, “I ate toast today” (side note: much to my network’s chagrin, I still tweet such thoughts) to get a feel for the concept of communicating my minute-by-minute thoughts in less than 140 characters.

Over a short time, however, I’ve built a modest yet steadily growing network of social media folks, network security geeks, hockey fans and random funny people by not only asking people who they might recommend but using the following tools:

  • Twitter Client: OK, so this one is less about learning the ropes of Twitter but it’s a must-have vehicle for improving your experience. It’s much easier to keep up with your friends if you have a desktop client that pops up messages or allows you to check in with only a couple of clicks (hint: In Snitter, which is my client of choice, the “replies” and “direct” tabs are my best friend. I never miss anything of importance).
  • Twitter Packs: Only launched in the last couple of days (and sadly, unnecessarily controversial), Chris Brogan‘s Twitter Packs brainchild is a interactive community-managed wiki that allows Twitter users to search out folks to follow by area of interest or geographic region. I’ve already found much value in both putting myself into a few groups and also adding new friends based on the groups in which I am interested. Check it out — the password is on the site.
  • Tweet Scan: A real-time Twitter search, Tweet Scan provides its users an engine with which they can search via keyword interest. In addition to the web-based portal, there is a toolbar plug-in for Mozilla Firefox.
  • Tweeterboard: Boasted as a conversation analytics tool, the Tweeterboard gauges a Tweeter’s influence by the amount of people who talks (or “@s” in Twitter language) to him or her, based on some sort of fancy algorithm that I cannot even begin to try to understand or explain. While I found this helpful it might not have been in the way intended. I’ve never just followed people based on popularity alone — I click through to determine their areas of interest and then see what their followers are saying.
  • Twitter Karma: Last, but definitely my favorite, once you’ve built your network and you start gaining a daily swarm of new followers, Twitter Karma is a fantastic way to manage your Twitter relationships. Twitter is notorious for not being consistent in its notification when you receive new followers, so enter your Twitter credentials and then select your view of either mutual friends, folks you follow but don’t follow you, folks who follow you but you don’t follow, etc., and bulk manage them in a couple of easy clicks.

So there ya have it. I do hope this helps. However, should you choose to brave the big bad interweb on your own to determine which Twitter tools are best for you, I recommend Read Write Web’s guide to and review of Twitter clients and Library Clips’ very intricate list of Twitter tips and tricks.

Am I forgetting anything?

19 Comments so far
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Thanks for helping me find the “guide to and review” of Twitter clients. I’ve been using the web version most frequently and have been looking for a good desktop tool. Also speaking of twitter. If you feel like checking out my twitter my name is “LenKendall” and my blogs twitter is “sociALLmedia” I’ll def. add you if I see you.


Comment by sociALL Media

Thank you for sharing your experiences and finds on various tweeter applications. I’m still a newbie on tweeter, have much to learn and experience.

Comment by Nicholas Chhan

Thanks to both of you for your feedback. I’m very glad this list and the links have come in handy. :-)

Comment by Jennifer Leggio

Well put Jennifer. I’ve actually found the Twitter client to be extremely important to my overall functionality with using Twitter. I’m now on my fourth different client…still trying to find that perfect match ;)

Only thing I would add is to the Tweetscan point. I like to also use it to generate RSS feeds to capture different topics, people, etc. It’s become very valuable for me to go through them each morning to see what has been discussed pertaining to my clients or favorite topics.


Comment by Kyle Flaherty

Thanks for mentioning Twitter Karma, Jennifer. Makes me giddy that you said it’s your favorite. :-)

Comment by Dossy Shiobara

Kyle — Thank you for adding that. I didn’t know about generating RSS feeds via Tweet Scan. I’m going to set that up, too.

Comment by Jennifer Leggio

Sure, Dossy. Actually my raving about Twitter Karma to a friend yesterday is what inspired me to write this blog in the first place. I probably go there at least once a day. Thanks for providing a great service!

Comment by Jennifer Leggio

I find that one thing people overlook with Twitter is the usefulness that it can have to convey real information out. Many people simply use it for the “I’m hungry.” or “My run was fun.” tweets but it has been a huge help for me to get information across to friends, family and business associates whether it be industry news, breaking local news or simply interesting things that I’ve learned that other people might be able to benefit from.

Comment by srcasm

Your point about Twitter clients like Snitter is so very true. They’re not essential to understanding the basics of Twitter, but, as you said, they go for miles in terms of improving the experience.

And I love what Brogan started with the Twitter Packs wiki. Very cool stuff.

Comment by Mike Keliher

scrsm — Completely agreed. And I am remiss for not calling that out more clearly. While Twitter started out as a fun tool, it’s now evolved for me as a critical networking application, news feed, and business communication vehicle. Thanks for adding to this!

Comment by Jennifer Leggio

Mike – I agree that Twitter Packs is a great idea. It’s a way for everyone to see the real dynamics of Twitter, not just the folks who make it to Tweeterboard. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Comment by Jennifer Leggio

Nice concise synopsis, pointing out some of the most important tools.

I haven’t fully embraced clients yet, as they can be a little buggy at times. Snitter and Twhirl are my current favorites.

Twitterpacks are a great way for people with similar interests to connect.

Tweetscan is an awesome tool, and I’m intrigued by Kyle’s ideas of RSSing it. Anyone care to do a quick blog post how-to/demo?

Not a huge fan of tweeterboard. At this stage I usually discover new people by looking at who my friends are @ing.

Twitter Karma is handy and I should use it more. Right now I’m still just going through my following and followers tabs once every few days.

Again, nice post focusing on the tools new Twitter users need to know about and check out!


Comment by GoOrange

GoOrange — Great suggestion, re: the how-to demo. I’ll try to figure it out and do so. If I can’t, or if Kyle doesn’t beat me to it anyway, I’ll ask him. :-)

Comment by Jennifer Leggio

GoOrange: on the Tweet Scan SERP, there’s a “RSS” link on the upper right-hand side, before the results start.

Subscribe to that RSS URL in your RSS reader and get updates when they show up in the RSS feed.

Comment by Dossy Shiobara

Don’t forget from @dacort

Comment by Mike

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