How To : Add Relevance When Searching For New Tweeps

Posted on April 13, 2009. Filed under: Technology, twitter | Tags: , , |

I am not a big advocate of the numbers game played by an increasing number of Twitter users these days. However, I do believe that it is important to continually grow your Twitter network to get the most from Twitter as a tool. Where the difference lies between gathering large numbers and growing your Twitter network in a postive way is in relevance to you.

Simply using a tool to auto follow everyone who mentions a key phrase, or worse still paying a monthly fee to a service to provide you with thousands of followers will not enhance your Twitter experience. Most of the users of these services are either too lazy to grow an organic network or are so hung up on the numbers that they miss the point of Social Media networks, engagement.

TwitSeeker from Guy Hagen, the creator  of Twinfluence (a tool I reviewed some time ago), allows you to search for specific phrases from either a Twitter users Tweets or their profile.  The results are then shown to you as a grid of users complete with a snapshot of their bio and whether you are already following them or not, if they follow you back and how many followers they have. It auto-selects all the users you aren’t following so that, with the click of a button you can follow them all. You can also choose to unselect some and just follow the remainder.

Below is a walkthrough of how to use TwitSeeker:

twitseeker_front

Twitseeker has both a simple search and an advanced search, unsurprisingly the advanced search is very similar in style to search.twitter.com advanced search. For the simple search enter the term you are interested in, enter your screen name and then select either from tweets or from bio then click search.

What you will get back is a results page similar to this:

ts_search-results

What I like about this is that it shows me who I am already following and being followed by (full green circle), who I follow but does not follow me (half green circle) and who I am not following (black circle). Rolling over the twitter bird will give you a snapshot of that users profile, rolling over the cloud icon gives you a cloud tag of recent tweets, clicking on the users name gives you a detail page for that user.

Overall this is a great tool, there are a few bugs, such as you can’t search by keyword and location at the same time, but I am sure these will be ironed out eventually. The key to this is that you are able to find Twitter users that you aren’t following by keyword from either their conversations or their bio – this adds the relevance to your searching and provides you with the first step in engagement.

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How To:Get Your Blog in the “A” List

Posted on February 10, 2009. Filed under: blogging, Facebook, Observations, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , |

With Social Media tools being so readily available now it seems that some people are getting very obsessed with ranking tools.

I have written about these several times, Twitter Grader, Twinfluence and Facebook Grader most recently.  I decided to do a little experiment whilst at the same time promoting my blog.

I used the “NetworkedBlogs” application on Facebook to add my friends to my blog network.  Its a very easy tool to use. You simply send an invite to your friend network on Facebook which asks them to join your network. If they do it displays your blog thumbnail on their profile page and adds them to the list of “Fans” for your blog.

It allows you to include a personal message with the invite, which I like to do, emphasizing this is really from me. That it gives the invitee the opportunity to not only see what I am writing but also what I am reading – I currently have 30 or so blogs in my network, so this is a virtual blog bookcase.

One of the things that NetworkedBlogs does in their application is provide a list, by topic of the Top 50 blogs.  My blog appears in the Social Media list.  What I wanted to show with this post is the subjective nature of these types of lists.

Take a look at the screenshot below

Social Media List

Social Media List

You will see that my blog appears immediately above that of Scott Monty, Ford’s Social Media evangelist. WOW, right, my blog is more popular than that of Scott Monty! I have made it, I’m on the “A” list. No more waiting for restaurant reservations or perhaps at least invites to cool parties at SXSWi.

Thankfully, both for me and those who know me, I am a little more grounded than that and a lot more cynical. Of course my blog isnt more popular than Scott’s (btw if you haven’t already started reading it, you really should). What this shows is the small group of blogs that are being measured. I am sure Scott receives thousands of readers a day, my readership is no where near that level.

This is what happens when you take a very small sample of data and extrapolate it to show importance, influence and popularity. Without lying I can state that my blog is now rated as the number 11 blog in Social Media on Facebook. Everyone knows that Facebook has 150 million users ergo I must be popular, influential and important.Don’t get me wrong I am not dissing the NetworkedBlogs application, it has actually brought me several new readers, for which I am always grateful, but in reality I am not in the “A” list, nor anywhere near it. If you would like to join my blog network please do 🙂

So the next time you are impressed by the fact that someone quotes a Social Media “rank” or “Score” dig a little deeper and find out just how that is being measured.

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