5 Twitter Tips You May Not Know

twitterbirdAs Twitter turns the corner on the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” and heads full speed ahead into the “Trough of Disillusionment,” I thought I’d share 5 tips that have continued to make Twitter a meaningful, useful tool.  Some of these you may know, some may be new.  This is aside from new features coming like Twitter Lists and the ability to report spammers directly from the web version.  If you know of others I’d love to hear them.

  1. Authorize your API connections. It seems like every other week a new Twitter scam pops up sending DMs on behalf of many unsuspecting users.  Of course you can change your password to protect yourself, but many apps require an authorization for your account.  Be sure to check http://twitter.com/account/connections to make sure everything there is legitimate.
  2. Twitter provides their own widgets. There are apps galore out there, but did you know Twitter has developed their own series of widgets for you to use on websites, blogs and elsewhere? Check out http://twitter.com/goodies/widgets to find widgets to show search results, your recent tweets, or your favorite tweets.  Here’s a quick sample of a search widget, showing scrolling chatter ahead of the 2nd TWTRCON conference coming up on October 22 in DC (want to attend? I have a 20% discount code: TWTRAC – I think the agenda is shaping up to beat the first one in SF earlier this year…) [Reading via feed? Please click through to the post to see the widget.]
  3. twittersearchUse RSS to track mentions. I use Google Reader to keep up with many blogs, but sometimes I miss a reply on Twitter if I haven’t logged in for awhile.  If you want to make sure you never miss a mention, create a simple Twitter search on your Twitter name and grab the RSS feed in the top right corner.  I’ll go through that list on occasion to make sure I didn’t miss anything, but a business could import that feed into a more robust tool for reporting and assigning responses.
  4. Get more use out of your Favorites.  I’ve always thought the “Favorites” function was under-utilized.  I tend tto use favorites most often to mark links to go back to read later, especially while I am on the road and using my Blackberry – sometimes taking the time to click through to links doesn’t help.  Once again Google Reader to the rescue.  Your Twitter Favorites are actually available via RSS as well, even though there is no RSS link on the page.  Here is the syntax:  “http://twitter.com/favorites/{twitter name}.rss” – now I can use them like a bookmarking service, feed them to a widget elsewhere and save them even for sharing with others via Google Reader’s sharing functions.  It’s almost a backdoor way to “retweet.”  Here is my feed, which I use very similarly to how I decide what to bookmark in Delicioushttp://twitter.com/favorites/adamcohen.rss
  5. There’s an app for that. Everyone has their favorite Twitter applications – the proliferation of 3rd party apps is profound.  My personal crutch is Tweetdeck, which has allowed me to create groups in order to more closely follow friends, industry experts and mentions of clients (more casually than a social media monitoring tool).  Rather than go deep on more apps, in the last few weeks one of my favorite microblogging experts, Laura Fitton, has launched One Forty at  http://oneforty.com – it’s the online equivalent of Apple’s App store but much broader – there are mobile apps for the iPhone, Blackberry and other devices, desktop apps, Twitter analytic services and more.  Integrated to your Twitter profile, oneforty.com allows you to rate and suggest services.  This site will clearly help sort through what the best and worst 3rd party apps are out there.  Laura is a featured speaker at TWTRCON too.

What other Twitter tips do you have to share?  I’ve been using Twitter for more than two years but continue to learn ways to make it an effective tool and build connections. Were these tips old news to you?  (Did you know that Disqus, the comment system which I recently installed here, allows you to authenticate via your Twitter account?  Sweet.)

Photo credit: cotinis via Flickr

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

New Blog Platform

Subscribe to Adam Cohen's FeedAfter some careful debate and a lot of thought, I’ve decided to move blog platforms. While I have enjoyed much that Typepad has to offer, I’ve found it limiting as a hosted solution in the ability to modify the look and feel, enhance for SEO purposes, and generally have the flexibility of a full scale platform. I’ve already launched the new site on WordPress and like the flexibility. The overall content, theme, and focus will remain the same.

Action Required

  • If you are already a subscriber, there should be no action required – this post was authored from the new site.  You may see some old posts show up again as new.  If you have any other problems please comment and let me know.
  • To be safe, please take a moment to make sure you are subscribed to the correct feed at http://feeds.feedburner.com/typepad/adamcohen (yes, the name looks wrong, but I am trying to make the switch while keeping the subscriptions intact with Feedburner). I’ll be leaving the typepad version up but will stop updating it.
  • If you aren’t yet a subscriber, I’d love to add you to the list, please consider subscribing.
  • If you subscribe already via email, no change is required.

Part of my blogging experience over the last several months has been learning the ins and outs of these tools first hand. Thanks for your patience while I develop a better experience. More to come soon and suggestions welcome.

Have you moved from Typepad to WordPress, or across blogging platforms and have an idea/tip to share? So far, this is the best link I’ve found with a lot of step by step tips and pitfalls, but I’d love to hear more.

Using Friendfeed, Caught in a Social Media Turbine

I decided to check out Friendfeed, perhaps because of some of the outages of Twitter recently but also because I'm not an early adopter – but I'd like to be one day.  I think.  In a few short minutes I was caught in a vicious cycle, and it's probably because I'm not leveraging some of these tools properly.

Either way, here is what happened the last time I logged into FriendFeed, which is best read as if you are the guy from the MicroMachines commercials of the 1980s:

– In Friendfeed, I spot a Twitter post from a friend with a link to a cool blog post
– Read blog post, bookmark on del.icio.us
– Spot same blog post on Google reader 
– Share it on Facebook
– Facebook feeds automatically to my Plaxo account
– Get comment from Plaxo feed on how cool that post is
– I read comment in Gmail
– I respond in Twitter about cool blog post comment and go back to Friendfeed
– In Friendfeed, I spot a an annoucement about Friendfeed mobile
– I try Friendfeed mobile and send a txt message to my Facebook status, which updates in Twitter and posts on Friendfeed and syncs to Plaxo which sends me a notification email that my Friend's Tweetfeed shared a link on Googletwit… suddenly I'm in one of those awful AT&T commercials and I find myself in Googleplaxifacetwhirlfeediliciouseesmic.

Now I think I will go check that in as my location on Brightkite.