I’ve been reading a lot of negative things about Twitter lately and every article I read leads me to believe that the author really has not captured the true value of what Twitter brings to the table in regards to its power as a search tool. If set up properly Twitter can not only deliver instant and real time information, but it can drastically change the way you search for that information. Instead of a proactive search method, Twitter can deliver a passive way to collect information on the subjects that mean the most to you. Think of it as a ‘keyword based, real time RSS feed” delivering only the content that you desire, you just have to know how to set it up.
The way I have set up my interaction with Twitter all started back to my own doubts of Twitter’s importance. Even after gaining 10,000+ Twitter followers the last time I checked, I still fought with the value of what I could use it for. So one evening I decided I was going to figure out how I could use this globally popular service to enhance my day-to-day perusing activities.
I started playing with Twitter Search, keying in terms that I was interested in such as ‘bookmarklets’, ‘link building tips’, and ‘Google Chrome’. I suddenly realized that the results I was looking at were basically the latest and most current information on the subjects I was seeking to learn more about. So that gave me a few ideas.
I first opened up my new Hootsuite account, which I thought was so cool but just couldn’t figure out any good uses for, and created an Application Shortcut in Google Chrome (my new favorite browser, Beta 5 of course). Then I set up tabs for each subject I was interested in staying on top of. After that I assigned a few keyword terms to each tab and voila!, I had a real time, passive search portal that allowed me to follow everything I am interested in with out searching each day. I now keep it open all day every day and truly stay on top of what’s happening each day in my industry. This technique also works great with Tweetdeck. Good luck!