Digestion

Twitter Needs Tools

Posted on: February 6, 2009

After adding @adagencylayoffs to my list of people I’m following on Twitter (via Three Minds On Digital Marketing), I started thinking about the usage and value of Twitter.

At the moment I’m following 115 Twitterers. I doubt that’s a lot by Twitter user standards (anyone know a stat? have a link?), but I will say that it is becoming more challenging to keep up with the tweets and weed out what information I want or should be noting. By now I know there are certain followers I should be paying more attention to (i.e. the agency planners, marketing innovators, marketers, etc.). But what about the new people I’m following? If I find their tweets are valuable and informative, how do I stay as close to their tweets as possible?

I think the answer right now is that I just need to become a frequent tweet checker. For a quick scan of updates, I use Twitterfox, which is a nice app that alerts me to my latest tweets. However, it’s a bit addicting as I’m always seeing pop-up notifications and then I of-course need to check out the various links being tweeted.

I wonder, what will Twitter create for its users in the future, so they/we can make the most of our network and the information being shared?

Twitter, like Facebook, should incorporate some kind of filtering tool. On Facebook, users can adjust (to a degree, and I don’t know how Facebook does this from a technical standpoint) the amount of updates they receive from certain friends. This feature is found under “Options For News Feed” at the bottom of the main page. Do you want to see more updates on certain stories (news, i.e. status updates, photo updates, etc)? Slide your preferences up or down. Do you want to more closely stalk someone? Does someone post too many updates (that’s probably me, apologies)? Add these people to the appropriate lists.

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A filtering/tweet tool would be most helpful for users utilizing Twitter for professional means, i.e. marketers, research people, and job seekers like myself. For instance, I’m following a few Twitterers who post social media jobs. If I had a tool that could put their tweets ahead of the majority of tweets, I could save time reading through updates that aren’t as relevant to my job search.

Another option Twitter could consider that is different from Facebook’s model would be to create a tool that would allow for tweets on a timed basis. For example, a user could choose to receive tweets from @”name” every 3 hours, or once a day.

Or, maybe this is a combination of these two ideas – creating groups or tiers of preferred Twitterers. Twitter could create three tiers and users would add people to tiers according to how valuable they find them. So I would choose to put the most interesting or job-related Twitterers into my top tier, and their tweets would appear more frequently compared to those under tier 2 and tier 3. Perhaps a simple slide tool or ranking button could be added to each Twitterer’s info under “following”. Next to Device updates, add the slide tool or tier option.

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I’m kind-of surprised Twitter hasn’t already done this. Thoughts, anyone?

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2 Responses to "Twitter Needs Tools"

Have a play with tweetdeck.

“TweetDeck enables users to split their main feed (All Tweets) into topic or group specific columns allowing a broader overview of tweets.”

http://www.tweetdeck.com/beta/

Thanks, Adam. I’ve been using TweetDeck for a few days now…it’s much more useful than TwitterFox.

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