Twitter is a river of commentary a mile wide and an inch deep. Ephemeral posts whiz by at a rate that make it nearly impossible to track, and yet any one of them could be an opportunity to reach out and connect to a friend or a potential customer, or to resolve a potential reputation destroying support problem. So recently I’ve been looking for more and better tools to help manage my use of Twitter.
Summize, acquired by Twitter and now called search.twitter.com, lets you search the Twit-o-sphere for posts matching your keywords. For example, yesterday I searched “Ken Blanchard” to find fans of Ken Blanchard and invite them to our call with Ken next week (part of the Calliflower Communiques series). Search.twitter.com allows you to search, right now, or take a search and encapsulate it in an RSS feed so that new tweets on your favorite topic(s) are delivered via your favorite RSS reader.
TweetBeep is an alerting system for Twitter. Similar to Google Alerts, with TweetBeep you can set up a series of keywords to scan on, and then be alerted by email whenever one of those keywords is entered into Twitter. For instance, I have keyword alert set for Calliflower, allowing me to know when people create Calliflower calls that I might be interested in, or post other messages about Calliflower.
TweetScan is another alerting system for Twitter. If you’re interested in creating applications that use keyword search on Twitter posts, it’s a great choice because it provides an API. If there’s a downside to TweetScan it’s that it offers only daily delivery of alerts.
TweetDeck is yet another way to keep track of topics of interest. TweetDeck is an impressive desktop application that keeps a database of all tweets it sees during the time that it is open. It allows for search terms to be created, and keep results in an auto-updating column.
I use all of these tools in differing circumstances. Perhaps the most valuable to me is TweetBeep; with timely (scan every hour) delivery to email it lets me stay on top of what I care about in the Twit-o-sphere from anywhere I have access to email. Without these tools, I’d drown in the fast flowing current of Twitter’s river of commentary.