Grabbing Twitter (and key tweets) by the Tail

Posted on May 31, 2011 by


If you’re content with the incredibly short half life of the average tweet on twitter, then you probably don’t mind all those tweets that “got away.” But if you’re one of those other sorts, like me, who manages to find significant value in some of the tweets that wander past, the notion of the tweet that got away can be (if you let it) a little maddening.

It’s a question of leaving value on the table.

If only we could grab twitter (and key tweets) by the tail, and hold on.

As we discussed last week at #smchat on the topic of Critical Thinking in 140c, both the challenge of capturing idea takeaways (“A5/Synthesis”) and the challenge of keeping ideas around (“A6/Persistence”) tend to go unsolved, especially for the average, garden variety chat. We’ll continue to explore and brainstorm solutions for these, as we discussed last week.

But what other options do we have for grabbing twitter by the tail? Let’s start with hanging onto valuable tweets, in the following ways:

Q1 RT’s. Clearly RT’s help get the word out. But do these really help keep key tweets around much longer?
Q2 Using Hashtags. Often, hashtag use keeps tweets around for a bit longer still, bridging tweets to folks that you don’t necessarily know. But again, for how long does that window stay open?
Q3 Apps with Columns. Using apps like TweetDeck or TweetGrid with multi-column views helps keep more tweets on radar, for longer, especially if you use hashtags or lists.
Q4 Search/Transcripts. Increasingly a mixed bag as twitter starts enforcing it’s API. Most search and/or transcript tools only work for the last week’s worth of tweets. Plus going back to a transcript can be tedious, and time consuming – barriers to “re-entry”.
Q5 Tweet Favorites. Often underutilized. Do you use this feature? Do you go back to look at tweets you “favorited”?
Q6 Tweet Reference. Tweetdeck, the native Twiiter UI (trying clicking on the tweet timestamp) and other apps will let you see the tweet on it’s own page. Maybe now we’re getting somewhere?
Q7 Aggregation. Saving a link to a tweet reference. Hmm. Staying power? example: Top SM Tweets (see sidebar)
Q8 Other Ideas? Brainstorm.

On WEDS, 6/1, at 1pET we’ll discuss the various pro’s/con’s of managing tweets that were too good to let go by. Perhaps we’ll find a way to grab twitter by the tail, after all?

See you at #smchat.