I’ve been having a lot of fun and meeting great people through Twitter. This social networking tool helps you connect to other people, you can expand your business, share ideas and it’s fun. It has one major negative . . . it can be a giant black hole for your time. Well, maybe you’re better at managing your time than I am, but I find that I sit down just to read a few tweets and the next thing I know an hour has flown by. That’s when I realized if I was going to continue being part of the Twitterati, I needed to find find a way to tame this beast.
Although you can manage Twitter using their website or your cell phone, once you start following a large number of people, you’re better off using a separate application to make sure you see the tweets you want to read.
TweetDeck is the best program I’ve found for managing Twitter. It starts with 3 default panels which are the same that you find on the Twitter website:
- All Tweets from everyone you are following
- Replies – anything sent with the “@” sign + your user name
- Direct Messages – messages that are sent privately to you
But the real power of TweetDeck comes from the additional columns you can add:
You can search for a keyword like your favorite hobby or your city. These searches can either be local (TweetDeck will search only through people you follow) or global where you’ll see all tweets that contain your search word or phrase from anyone on Twitter.
You can also set up your own group made up of people that you follow. This is a good way to segment a smaller portion of your Twitter followers.
Twellow is a search engine of Twitter users by category. This is also a good substitute for Twitter’s internal search that’s been shut down for the last few weeks. Not only can you search by category for people who’ve set up their profile on Twellow, but you can also search through all Twitter users by their location, which can be a good way to start meeting local Twitter users.
TwitterGrader won’t save you time, but I will admit that I’m competitive, so this website will let you know how you rate as a Twitter user. Once you see your score, the site will suggest people to follow. TwitterGrader’s search function also lets you search by location, but they show the results based on users’ scores so you can see how active someone is. The higher the score, the more they use Twitter. This can help you determine who you might like to follow.
These tools have definitely helped me get a lot of of Twitter without looking up and wondering where all of my time went. Would you like to Follow me on Twitter?