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?


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