hints and tips

Follow you, follow me: finding people on Twitter

on Apr 18 in hints and tips, links, social media, tools, Twitter posted by

OK, so you’ve discovered Twitter. But how are you going to make the most of it? How do you find among the 1 million or so Twitterers (or Tweeple) who to follow?

To Follow Or Not To Follow

As with so many things in life, what “counts” is quality, not quantity. Unless you have the concentration of a Zen master and the mental capacity of a savant, there is no way to consciously follow more than a few dozen active Tweeple. The people you choose to follow (or not) are the prime determinant of your Twitter experience.

So how do you figure who’s best to follow? There’s no hard and fast rule. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Look for people who are blogging on the topic that interests you. If they have a Twitter account they usually have a button or widget you can click to follow them.
  2. If you know someone who is knowledgable, try Twitter search to find them.
  3. Use online search apps to help you narrow down who to follow. Here are some to get you started.
  • Ranking sites: TwitDir lists top Twitterers as measured by various criteria such as those who follow the most, who are followed the most, update the most, etc. A couple of other sites list top Twitterers by their “popularity” (although there is some wiggle-room for how popularity is measured) such as Twitterholic and Twittown’s Twitrank (a bit dated).
  • Friendsic Analysis:  By ranking by how many of your friends are following them, Twubble helps you find friends using the principle of a friend of a friend is my friend.
  • Think Locally: Find people who are using Twitter in or around a localized area with Twitter Local.
  • Doctor the Who:  Search for people you already know by their name or email using TwitterWho.
  • Upper-Class Twits: Find Twitterers who might have similar interests with Twits Like Me.

See recent article on ReadWriteWeb for more details on Tweeple finding tools.

Useful intros to Twitter
Webware’s Newbies Guide to Twitter
Chris Brogan’s Newbies Guide to Twitter 
Video from Twitter developers 
55 Twitter Tots from The Spinning Donut 

NB The title of this post refers to a Genesis song. (Genesis is a UK rock band from the 70s and 80s.)

Follow you, follow me on YouTube 

5 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Good stuff – especially for newbie twitterers like me! Bookmarkin’ ya now.


    Comment by Dette — April 18, 2008 @ 2:01 pm

  2. Good post Roger. I think it’s important for new users to understand they don’t have to follow everyone who follows them either.

    Comment by David Mead — April 18, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

  3. Thanks for the post – I just ‘discovered’ Twubble after reading your blog. But the URL is now http://crazybob.org/twubble/. Thought you’d want to know…

    Tom Humbarger

    Comment by Tom Humbarger — August 15, 2008 @ 9:50 pm

  4. I am working on developing a way to track my clients twitter stats. I don’t want to track every @Reply or do I? I guess my question is, what is the most valuable information that you can "track" from Twitter, and maybe even Facebook?

    Comment by julia — April 10, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

  5. Hey Julia, sorry I didn’t see this earlier. Twitter is a conversation. Like some conversations, you don’t want to follow everything that’s being said. But if people are taking the time to reply @you, it will usually be something you want to hear or at least respond to. The value of information depends partly on who is saying it and their relevance to your own interests.

    Comment by Roger — May 5, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

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