There are now 200 million users on Twitter, creating 100 million tweets per day, including nearly every expert on any subject you could choose to follow. These experts are all sharing important thoughts and news in their areas of expertise and following the stream on a particular subject is like a masterclass. However, while the velocity of thinking and sharing is amazing on Twitter it can be like drinking from a firehose.
Let me share tools and an approach I use to cope with that.
The centerpiece is a FREE automated newsletter creation tool called paper.li . As an example, here is one I created from a twitter list that I call “thought stimulators” where I follow 40 people and blogs who are thought leaders in their respective areas of interest to me (social media, digital marketing, shopper marketing, branding, marketing research, storytelling, behavioral economics, innovation).
The URL is http://paper.li/joelrubinson/thought-stimulators and it looks like this:
This tool has great technology that sorts through the tweets from those on my twitter list, prioritizes them, sorts them by type (e.g. blog-style content vs. video) and lays out content in a highly readable format. It updates every day and even tweets the update for me, along with shoutouts. Firehose solved!
Let’s say you want to stay up to the minute about innovation (but of course, you can walk through this on any topic you really care about).
Twitter lists. First, create a list on Twitter of thought leaders regarding innovation. Let’s call it “innovator leaders”. Some you probably already follow, so start by adding them to your newly created list.
Hashtags. Search for tweets about #innovation in www.icerocket.com. You will see tweets that you find interesting and how many followers that Twitter handle has. Click on their handle and you will get to their full tweet stream and profile. One tip is to see if others have placed them on their lists. If a Twitter handle is on many lists (like 100+) their contributions are valued by others. Anyone who is interesting you can add to your “innovation leaders” list.
Leaderboards. There are services which show you the most influential people on a subject. Try http://wefollow.com/ . Search on the tag “innovation” and you will see the following list.
Add anyone to your “innovation leaders” list whose tweet stream is of interest to you.
Create your newspaper with paper.li . Once you have a list you are happy with, go to paper.li , register with your Twitter account, and create your newsletter off of your list (the option to do this is straightforward). Add it to your home page tabs in the browser you use, and it will always be there for you, like a morning industry newspaper.
Keeping it fresh. I also suggest that you use Tweetdeck and set up a column for the hashtag #innovation. You will see tweets on that subject from some you do not have on your list but if you find them interesting, you can add them. Because the newsletter is tied to the list, if you change the list, the newsletter will reflect that change.
You can create multiple newsletters. You might have newsletters based on lists for:
- Professional interests
- Competitors nice enough to tell you what they are up to on Twitter
- Your favorite sports team or hobby
- Life tips that relate to your lifestyle
- Comedians (we all need a laugh in the morning)
- Whatever you can think of…it’s up to you!
If you have tools you prefer for coping with the Twitter firehose, please share them as comments to this blog. Thanks!