I love Twitter because it’s full of up-to-date and insightful stuff curated by very smart and passionate Tweeps (people who tweet).
But getting quality information from a Twitter stream is like trying to understand your friend’s whispering in a packed disco. It’s just too noisy. 14 million tweets per day (from SFGate) simply ensures that the good stuff gets brushed away like so much dandruff.
To find it all, I use Twitter Search and public Lists.
Get started at Twitter’s Search Engine.
It’s like a Google search except that apart from the usual keywords and phrases, you can also search through Twitter with hashtags. They’re words prefixed with a hash symbol # and denotes a grouping on Twitter (more at Twitter Fan Wiki) – kind of like tags on a blog.
Folks use both hashtags and keywords for precise searches. But I want to gather content, so my search terms are looser. I tend towards hashtag searches because I’ll get higher quality tweets.
For example, I’ve used the keyword: “Content” in my search below. Obviously, the Juicy Buddha tweet isn’t what I want. And there’s a lot of other stuff that I need to filter out.
Twitter search using “Content”
I get better results with the hashtag: “#Content”. Sometimes I get tweets that are more about satisfaction than communications, but that happens sometimes.
Now the focus is on Tweeps.
It’s about bring together people who are interested in related things. For example, my Twitter list of content people (see image below) is all about folk who create content in some form or the other.
A Twitter List
Now they don’t use hashtags.
What they’re tweeting about is what I’m interested in – content and how to make sense out of it. If it’s something cool or useful, I either retweet or file it for a reblog or a resource.
You can create your own lists or you can follow other Tweep’s lists. If you’re searching for Public Lists, try Listorious. This user-submitted directory has a mind-boggling number of lists. You can probably find anything that you want her.
The tip of the Twitter-berg
I’m still exploring how to maximise Twitter as an information source. But for now, searching by hashtags and following Public Lists are a great start.
I’d like to know, what worked for you when sourcing for content in Twitter?
A day, a tip | 100 days, 100 useful content tips
Credits: All images are screenshots