Colin Walker

on social media, tech, blogging and the internet.

Making more effective use of Twitter.

Twitter is starting to become more mainstream – it’s not just the geeks anymore. With so many users making so many updates how can you possibly keep track of topics, conversations etc?

The two easiest, and probably most effective methods of keeping track of your recent responses and those back to you are by using quotably and employing what are known as hashtags.

Quotably

The quotably site is designed to track conversations by looking at the thread of responses related to a given Twitter username. Included in the search results are recent conversations that user has taken part in including both the tweets they have made in response to others and those made back to the user.


(click for full size image)

The great thing about quotably is that you can correct the reply threading when things don’t seem to be in the correct order. I’ve noticed that the reply to link   doesn’t always seem to point back to the right tweet and this is reflected in the order shown by quotably. Fortunately, you have the ability to fix the threading and ensure that tweets are correctly ordered:

Cool stuff, eh?

Hashtags

Another popular method of tracking tweets about specific topics is the use of hashtags: simply a word proceeded by a hash character, e.g. #hashtags. Tweets that include these tags can then be collated in order to get an overall picture of conversation about a particular subject.

Third party sites are used to monitor hashtags:

Twemes.com (TWitter mEMES) presents recent popular tags in a traditional "tag cloud" format for a quick visual reference whereas hashtags.org opts for a tabular layout with a 24 hour activity graph for each tag. Hashtags.org is the more functional offering different views based on popularity and time and seems to be the more widely used site by tweeters. It does require you to follow @hashtags in order for your tags to show up on the site – twemes.com doesn’t.

Something I intend to do is to use hashtags to generate more blog traffic. Before tweeting about a new blog post I will first check if it is relevant to any existing hashtags (the more popular the better) and ensure that the tweet is tagged accordingly.

Do you use either of these methods for tracking twitter activity?
What do you think of them?
Is there anything else that you use?

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April 3, 2008 - Posted by | Social Media | ,

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