A couple of months ago I blogged about ten of my favourite reporting and analysis tools for Twitter. I didn’t – and still don’t – pretend to have any great expertise but, as I’d tried a bunch of different products, I thought it worth sharing some of the better ones I was aware of. Since then, some of you have shared your own favourites with me, and I also found a few more myself. I’ve now collected enough to make it worth sharing another batch of goodies. I hope you’ll find them interesting.
TweetGrid is a great resource for real-time monitoring. It’s highly configurable, allowing up to ten panels to be displayed simultaneously, each displaying different hashtag or search results. The search facility also supports direct messages (DMs), individual profiles, lists, and even geolocation, using “near” (place name) and “within” (x km for distance).
I can see how that would be useful where people have mobiles with GPS and have opted to share their location, but don’t know it handles tweets for those without GPS, or who have chosen not to share location. I suspect it uses the location of the nearest server, so there could be a fair degree of leeway if that’s the case.
In a local gov context, a really obvious use would for monitoring transport networks for reports of snow, ice, rain, flood, traffic jams, people stuck in their cars etc. It could also be useful when there are large events (the Olympics?). Thanks to Christian Carley for showing me this one.
Another product I like is Crowdbooster. According to the blurb on their website:
We show you analytics that aren’t based on abstract scores but numbers that are connected to your business and your social media strategies: impressions, total reach, engagement, and more. We then give you the tools and recommendations you need to take action and improve each one of these metrics.
As well as graphs plotting follower growth or reduction over time, and lists showing who retweets your tweets, there’s a great visualisation showing when your followers are most likely to be on line, thereby maximising the chance of your tweet being seen. Great for anyone organising events. Thanks to Nick Halliday and Graham Budd for highlighting that one.
Trendsmap is a good way to quickly spot trends, whether worldwide or more locally. Whatever’s trending will be displayed on the map – big ‘n bold indicates a stronger trend. Click a term to see tweets for that trend. Trendsmap could be useful to news gatherers, and those interested in ‘what’s hot’. Thanks to Stephen Slominski for sharing the link.
Tweetstats has a nice selection of graphs for an individual profile. It does take a few minutes to generate the charts, but it’s worth the wait as it you’ll be presented with clickable word and hashtag clouds. If you don’t like the standard clouds, there’s an option to use Wordle instead, which gives you masses of choice and lets you edit the cloud to remove redundant or common words. Tweetstats does also provides variety of charts you can click through (although you can’t get as far as individual tweets through the charts).
I find Nutshellmail really useful if I’ve not been able to keep an eye on Twitter for a while. It sends you an email each day based on what you’ve specified you want to hear about. It’s not limited to Twitter, however, and also works with various other sites including: Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and Foursquare. To get going, you register with the site and authorise it to access your accounts. You then customise each account according to your preferences – I’ve opted for a summary of Twitter new followers and quitters, plus lists and search terms I’m interested in as well as LinkedIn updates. I hang on to a few weeks’ worth of daily emails – it still amuses me how some seem to follow purely in the hope you’ll follow them back, and stop following (quit) after a few days if I haven’t followed back. My criteria for following is pretty simple – I only follow people who have something interesting to say and would never do a tit-for-tat follow. Similarly, I don’t expect those I follow to feel they should have to follow me either!
I admit I don’t use Justunfollow very often – probably once every couple of months or so. That said though, I do find it very useful for finding who I follow hasn’t tweeted for ages so I can prune my follow-list accordingly. If you’re interested, you can also see who you are following, but who isn’t following you back, and the flip-side: those who follow you, but that you aren’t currently following.
Bing has a ready-made map template that displays tweets for a geographical area. The tweets are clickable. Bing also provides the html code, so you can embed a tailored version of the map in your own web page if you wish.
The search facility has some quite a nice features which allow you to search locations, keyword and users, and opt to display just tweets with photos as well. I could see that being useful for collections of photos of events.
Twitter profiling is a demonstration tool on the LoGo-net web site, which is aimed at local government. There’s a more extensive service which is chargeable, but I have so far only looked at the free bit, which lets you generate and refine Twitter clouds based on a search.
To create a ‘cloud’, enter a search (account name, hashtag or simple term). The tool displays a simple cloud. Click any word in the cloud to see more detail cloud, and list of individual tweets. It’s a visual way to drill down through tweets in quite an engaging way.
Addictomatic ‘instantly’ draws together results of your search from various sources including: Twitter, Bing, Google Blog search, Flickr, WordPress, FriendFeed and many more.
I put ‘instantly’ in quotes as it really is very fast for the amount of detail you get from a bunch of different sources. I also like that you can customise layout, and save using bookmarks.
Well worth a look if you haven’t already tried it.
Spezify is a freeform search tool that incorporates websites, videos, images, microblog posts and more into a grid of results. You can set preferences on what sources are included, which is handy if you don’t want to include content from, for example, shopping sites like Amazon or e-bay.
I can’t remember where I first heard about Spezify (I think it might have been on Carl Haggerty’s blog).
That’s my list of ten complete, but I couldn’t finish without also quickly mentioning a couple of others worth a look.