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Mar 28, 2009

101 Twitter Tools to Help You Achieve All Your Goals

Twitter has become an incredible tool not just for communication, but for improving your life. Anyone can use it to expand their social circle, promote their side business, keep their coursework organized, and more. Whether you want to achieve your Twitter goals, or just use it as a tool to achieve others, these tools will help you get there.

Twitter Analysis

If your goal is to be popular and influential on Twitter, be sure to check out these tools that will tell you how you’re doing.

  1. Twitter Grader: Learn your Twitter grade, your local Twitter Elite, and find new people to follow through Twitter Grader.
  2. Twitterholic: Check out the top Twitter users and find out your Twitter stats on Twitterholic.
  3. TweetStats: TweetStats offers a graphical analysis of your Twitter stats.
  4. Twitter Friends: Carefully measure your Twitter conversations using Twitter Friends.
  5. Twinfluence: Twinfluence will measure your Twitter influence based on reach, velocity, and social capital.
  6. Tweetwasters: Find out how much time you and other users waste on Twitter.
  7. Tweet-Rank: Learn about the quality of your tweets by finding out which ones won or lost followers.
  8. Mr. Milestone: Get a tweet when you reach various milestones using this Twitter tool.
  9. Retweetrank: Find out how many retweets you and other Twitter users have through this service.

Information Gathering

With these tools, you and gather information for market research, blog posts, and your own simple curiosity.

  1. search.tEarn.com: Unique, social network for viewing photos and videos on any topic and chatting with Twitter users interested in the same subject. Search on any topic.
  2. @myflightinfo: Use @myflightinfo to stay updated on your flight’s status.
  3. Twitterverse: Check out archived timelines and tweets through Twitterverse.
  4. Twitscoop: Twitscoop shares what’s hot on Twitter at any given moment.
  5. Twitbuzz: Twitbuzz tracks the latest conversations as well as popular Twitter links.
  6. StrawPoll: Use StrawPoll to make sharing your opinion as easy as sending an @reply.
  7. Retweetist: This service ranks the hottest links being retweeted on Twitter.
  8. Monitter: Get real time keyword monitoring on Twitter from Monitter.
  9. TweetNews: TweetNews ranks stories based on the amount of related tweets.
  10. TwitterBuzz: TwitterBuzz will tell you what’s being linked to the most on Twitter.
  11. Tweetscan: Set up Tweetscan to make sure you don’t miss any @replies, and to get alerted of your search queries.

Network Building & Management

Find more relevant Twitter users with the help of these tools.

  1. Twitter Local: With this service, you can see tweets from Twitter users in a specific location.
  2. Twubble: Twubble will expand your Twitter bubble, picking out people you may like to follow.
  3. MyCleenr: Sort your friends by their last tweets, and you can get rid of the inactive and useless accounts you’re following.
  4. Follow Cost: This tool will tell you how much effort it takes to follow someone.
  5. Tweepler: Use Tweepler to organize your tweeps based on whether you’re following them or not.
  6. Just Tweet It: Find Tweeple, tools, Twitter bots and more through this directory.
  7. TweetWheel: TweetWheel will help you discover which of your Twitter friends know each other.
  8. SocialToo: SocialToo will help you keep track of all of the people who have followed or unfollowed you.
  9. Twitoria: Reduce your clutter on Twitter by finding your friends that haven’t tweeted in a long time.
  10. TwitDir: With TwitDir, you’ll be able to search for people, and exploring categories including top followers and updaters.
  11. Who Should I Follow?: Using this site, you can get good recommendations for Tweeps to follow.
  12. Nearbytweets: Learn about all of the Twitter users in a specific area with the help of Nearbytweets.
  13. Twellow: Find Twitter users in a specific industry using this service.
  14. Mr. Tweet: Mr. Tweet is a personal networking assistant for Twitter, helping you find relevant followers.
  15. Qwitter: Qwitter will help you manage your network by sending an alert when a person unfollows you.

Twitter Management

Save your time and cull your Twitter list with the help of these tools.

  1. Summize: Retrieve information on Twitter quickly to search Twitter in real time.
  2. Tweet O’Clock: Trying to reach someone? Tweet O’Clock will help you find the best time to get their attention.
  3. Just Signal: Set up a filter using Just Signal to get only the tweets that discuss the keywords you’d like to read about.
  4. TweepSearch: Put your Twitter network to good use and search your followers for specific parameters.
  5. Friend or Follow: Manage your Twitter contacts and find out who’s not following you back through Friend or Follow.
  6. TwitResponse: TwitResponse makes it easy for you to schedule the delivery of your tweets ahead of time.
  7. TwitterSnooze: Put the pause button on a particular user for a while with Twitter Snooze.
  8. Twitterless: Get notified when someone stops following you with Twitterless.
  9. Twilert: Track specific keywords to receive alerts for using Twilert.
  10. Tweetdeck: Tweetdeck has a groups function that will help you more efficiently follow the people you really want to listen to.
  11. Twalala: Put the mute button on certain people and topics for a while if you are receiving lots of updates you’re not really interested in.

Sharing Tools

Promote your business, share photos, and more using these Twitter tools.

  1. Tweetburner: Use Tweetburner to share links, and you can track their usage.
  2. Twitpic: Twitpic makes it easy to take mobile phone photos and share them using your Twitter account.
  3. TwitterHawk: Get targeted marketing on Twitter through TwitterHawk.
  4. Acamin: Acamin makes it easy to share files on Twitter with your followers.
  5. Glue: Post links to books, movies, restaurants and more on Twitter through Glue.
  6. Ping.fm: This service will update all of your social networks at once.
  7. TweeTube: TweeTube makes it easy to share videos on Twitter.
  8. twiggit: Use this automated service to share the articles you digg on Twitter.
  9. Twisten.fm: Share what you’re listening to on Twitter through Twisten.fm.

Organization & Productivity

These Twitter tools will make your life a bit more streamlined.

  1. Twittercal: Link your Twitter account and Google Calendar to easily keep up with your events and appointments.
  2. Timer: Use Timer to get reminders about tasks through your Twitter account.
  3. TwitterNotes: Organize your notes using Twitter with TwitterNotes.
  4. Remember the Milk: Use Remember the Milk on Twitter to update your to do list.
  5. Tweetake: Tweetake will back up your Twitter timeline for archiving and more.
  6. Nozbe: Nozbe makes it easy to add and update your to do list on Twitter.
  7. Toodledo: This popular to do list app integrates nicely with Twitter.
  8. TrackThis: Send TrackThis your tracking number, and you’ll get Twitter messages every time there’s a change in location.
  9. Joint Contact: Get project management productivity on Twitter using Joint Contact.
  10. Tempo: This time tracking tool allows you to send in updates from Twitter.
  11. Tweet Later: Tweet Later offers a great way to set up alerts, schedule tweets, send thank you DMs, and more.
  12. OutTwit: OutTwit will make it easy for you to use Twitter inside of Outlook.
  13. Jott: Jott makes it easy for you to tweet without ever having to type, transcribing your voice message to Twitter.

Life Tools

With these tools, you can work on relationships, life tracking, and more.

  1. MyMileMarker: Keep track of your mileage with info sent via Twitter every time you fill up.
  2. 21Tweets: 21Tweets offers personal coaching on Twitter.
  3. TwtTRIP: Organize your travel plans and find other Twitter travelers on your way with TwtTRIP.
  4. Tweet Answers: Twitter Answers makes it easy to ask questions and get answers on Twitter.
  5. Twtvite: Twtvite is a simple event organizer that will help you create a tweetup.
  6. Vacatweet: Set up an autoresponder for your Twitter account with Vacatweet.
  7. plusplusbot: Share when someone goes out of their way to help you, or otherwise make your feelings known using plusplusbot.
  8. TrackDailyGoals: Use this site and the #dailygoals hashtag to keep track of your goals every day.
  9. ConnectTweet: Put the voices of your group or business together through ConnectTweet.
  10. Tweeteorology: Find tweets about the weather in any location through Tweeteorology.
  11. DreamTweet: Keep a reminder of your dreams and nightmares, and follow the dreams of others through DreamTweet.

Business & Finance

Use these tools to improve your business and finances through Twitter.

  1. Chipin: If you’re raising funds on Twitter, make use of Chipin to set a goal and let your supporters track the progress of the campaign.
  2. Xpenser: You can Twitter your expenses to Xpenser and they will be recorded for you.
  3. Twittertise: Schedule your tweets and track their clickthroughs with this app designed for Twitter advertising.
  4. TwtQpon: Create simple Twitter coupons for your business with TwtQpon.
  5. CheapTweet: Get all of the deals, sales, coupons and more being discussed on Twitter through CheapTweet.
  6. Tipjoy: Like Chipin, Tipjoy offers a way to create social payments for your cause, content, or people.
  7. SalesTwit: Get contact management for Twitter with the help of SalesTwit.
  8. Tweet What You Spend: Track your cash in a really effective way using Tweet What You Spend.
  9. StockTwits: StockTwits shares the investment discussions on Twitter in real time.


Track your health using these Twitter tools.

  1. Qwitter: Update Qwitter to shame yourself into quitting smoking.
  2. TweetPlot: Use TweetPlot to chart your food and fitness statistics.
  3. Tweetwhatyoueat: Keep a food diary to track what you’re eating every day using Tweetwhatyoueat.
  4. gtFtr: Use the gtFtr tool to record your exercise activity on Twittr.
  5. SugarStats: Track, monitor, and share your blood sugar through Twitter with SugarStats.
  6. FoodFeed: This Twitter-based food log makes it easy for you to track what you’re eating.


Bring your blog life and Twitter life together with these tools.

  1. Add to Any: Get your posts shared on Twitter by using Add to Any on your WordPress blog.
  2. TwitThis: Make use of this plugin to send Twitter messages about your blog post.
  3. MyTwitter: Use the MyTwitter plugin to display your Twitter status on WordPress.
  4. Twitpress: Twitpress will send out a Tweet every time you post a new blog entry.
  5. TwitterCounter: With this plugin, you can display the number of followers you have on Twitter.
  6. TwitterFeed: Announce your blog post on Twitter with a customized message using TwitterFeed.
  7. FriendFeed: Announce your blog post on Twitter.

Mar 27, 2009

CLIP Could Disney Join Hulu? Sources Say Talks Are Serious

The Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) Company could wind up with an equity stake in Hulu in exchange for adding ABC programming to the NBC Universal-News Corp joint venture, a source familiar with the situation tells paidContent. It's not clear how much of Disney's television programming is involved beyond ABC—a second source says all Disney content has been discussed but it centers on ABC; other possibilities could include ESPN and, if not the Disney Channel, some offshoots. The discussions, dormant for a while, have picked up again recently and are described as "serious" by both sources.

Providence Equity Partners owns 10 percent of the joint venture in exchange for an early $100 million investment; NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) and News Corp each own 45 percent. One plan, according to one source, is for Disney to get something close to parity with the media companies, possibly with performance incentives. But it is difficult to see NBCU and News Corp agreeing to parity—a healthy stake, yes, but the others are likely to want their first-in status to equal larger shares than those coming in now.

The deal sounds similar to variations I was told were discussed with CBS (NYSE: CBS). Instead, Hulu wound up yanking its programming off CBS Interactive's TV.com, which signed a distribution deal before parent CNET was acquired by CBS, over contractual issues. The result: gaping holes in the programming for Hulu and TV.com. Disney has stayed away, though, focusing primarily on delivering its broadband programming through its own players on its own sites.

But would serious equity be enough or would Disney insist that NBCU and News Corp (NYSE: NWS). extend their commitments to Hulu for NBC, Fox and various cable nets beyond the remaining year? The exclusivity makes Hulu the only conduit for PC-based distribution; as is the case with NBC and Fox, ABC still would be able to distribute its content through its own players on its own sites. That kind of assurance from NBCU and News Corp. would seem even more important given a variety of issues, including the pending departure of Hulu board member Peter Chernin, who played a key role in making the JV happen as COO of News Corp., and the pressure from cable operators like Comcast (a Hulu distribution partner through its Fancast portal) to fold in online access to broadcast and cable programming with cable subscriptions. Disney also could agree to a non-exclusive deal, which means it would keep the rights to co-distribute its content—but that would put a significant equity stake in doubt.

Why now? One source says, "Hulu has more scale (than the networks), which is why I think they're back at the table." Hulu.com recently celebrated the first anniversary of leaving beta and is in the midst of a national branding campaign that started during the Super Bowl with an ad featuring 30 Rock's Alec Baldwin. Stats released this week by comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) Video Metrix showed Hulu with a 33 percent increase in viewed videos following the ad. Hulu delivered 333 million videos in February, ranking fourth in U.S. video properties with 2.5 percent. Hulu's share is small compared to YouTube but not compared to the standalone networks. In the same comScore report for February, Viacom (NYSE: VIA) Digital Network accounted for 1.9 percent of videos delivered, with Disney Online and CBS Interactive each just under 1 percent.

Mar 26, 2009

CLIP 4 Ways Companies Use Twitter for Business

Gartner released a report today that highlights the different ways that companies are adopting Twitter for business use. Although Twitter was originally intended for communication among individuals, a number of organizations have begun to actively participate on the platform. However, not all companies are using Twitter in the same way. Some are tweeting, some are just listening, and some really savvy companies are doing both.


Before any company employees start tweeting, it would be a good idea to remind them that the same rules that apply to other web participation (like blogging, for example) also apply to Twitter. "As Twitter is a public forum, employees should understand the limits of what is acceptable and desirable," says Jeffrey Mann, research vice president at Gartner. "If organizations have not defined a public Web participation policy, they should do so as quickly as possible."

Based on Garnter's research, they have narrowed down the four different ways that companies are using Twitter today: direct, indirect, internal, and signaling. Here's what those mean:


Some companies are using Twitter as a marketing or public relations channel, much like an extension to their corporate blogs. They will post about corporate accomplishments and distribute links that take people back to corporate web pages, press releases, and other promotional sites.

This method probably seems to be the easiest way to get started, but companies need to be aware that using Twitter like this could actual hinder their image in the Twitter community. A whole bunch of self-serving, self-promotional tweets can actually damage their reputation - Twitter folks like a personal touch.

Gartner also warns that responding to comments can be risky when going this route, but, while that's true to a point, when done right responding on Twitter can be of great benefit to the company. To see some example of brands that "get" how to tweet and respond, check out what Ford does, or Starbucks, or Dell.

Here a couple of resources to help your company get familiar with how other businesses do this:


The second method some companies use on Twitter is to let their employees tweet instead. As the employees use Twitter to enhance their own personal reputations, the company's reputation is also enhanced by proxy. If this one is hard for you to understand, then perhaps a good example to demonstrate the power of the indirect method is in reverse: imagine what negative tweets about the company would look like. Take the case of the Yahoo employee who twittered throughout the layoffs, for example. How do you think that made Yahoo look at the time?

Now that you understand how employee tweets can affect the company negatively, understand that the reverse is also true. Employees twittering away about in earnest about their excitement about their work, developments in their industry, new products, or other interesting tidbits, even if unrelated to the company itself, can promote positive feelings for whichever business they (indirectly) represent.

Another good reason for having employees tweet instead of the company itself is when the company wants to be seen as employing influential leaders. This list of Forrester analysts on Twitter offers a great example.


Some companies use Twitter internally to share ideas or communicate about what projects they're working on. If this information is confidential in nature, employees either need to protect their updates or even better, not use Twitter at all. Gartner doesn't recommend using Twitter or any other consumer microblogging service in this way because there's no guarantee of security.

If, however, your company wants to use microblogging at the office, there are tools designed for businesses that let you do just this. Yammerand present.ly are two of the top options for a Twitter-like platform for the workplace.

Inbound Signaling

Some companies aren't as much Twitter participants as they are Twitter "listeners." Using search tools like search.twitter.com or desktop applications like TweetDeck are easy ways to keep track of what's being said about the company, its product names, or even the industry as a whole. Smart companies are tuning into these micro-conversations to get early warnings of problems and to collect feedback on product issues or ideas.

Recently, Microsoft's PR agency released their Twitter trend-tracking service to the public. Called Twendz, this tool goes beyond simple Twitter searches to also track sentiment, as well.


If your company is thinking about jumping into the Twitter foray (and who isn't these days?), it's best not to do so blindly. Gartner's breakdown of the four ways companies use Twitter is a good starting point, but, in reality, developing a strategy is much more complex than the examples listed above. You can follow up on the ideas in this article by reading Chris Brogan's "50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business," then subscribing to his blog for more insights. You can also contact Gartner directly for access to the full report.

CLIP Gen Y Says: "I Want My Social TV!"

New research from Park Associates found that many Gen Y TV viewers are ready for a change when it comes to their television-watching experience. According to a recent reportover one-fourth of users ages 18-24 are interested in having more social media features integrated into their TV. This data should come as good news to companies like Verizon and Yahoo!, both of whom have been pushing their new social networking widgets. But it also has broader implications that go beyond kids just wanting Facebook on their TV. The study found that there's a desire to use social networking as a platform to actually enhance the TV-watching experience through interactive chats with other viewers and the ability to recommend shows to friends.


The report, Social Media & User-Generated Content, found that the most desired social experience those in this age group were interested in was multiplayer games. Although you might not think of gaming as "social media," it does fit the criteria - creating profiles (avatars), adding friends (online gaming buddies), and chatting during gameplay make gaming a very social activity. Recently, news about an upcoming service called OnLive was announced and this would fit right into this trend. OnLive aims to stream high-end video games to any PC, Mac, or TV with a broadband connection. Based on the Park Associates data, that service has a lot of potential to become a hit among this young demographic...assuming it actually works.

Also on the list of desired experiences were things like chatting with other people who are watching the same TV show, access to "Most Watched" lists, the ability to recommend shows to family and friends, and the ability to receive recommendations in return. These items point towards a desire for TV to become less of an isolated, solitary experience and make it function more like the social networks we see online.(Perhaps instead of just having "online friends," we'll one day be "friending" people on our TV, too?)

If this happens, it will be an entirely new frontier for television. Watching TV has always be more of a passive activity - you switch it on, sit back, and allow yourself to be entertained. Adding a social element to TV will be a dramatic shift - and one that has to be done carefully in order to not mar what people have come to expect as the TV "experience." Time and again we've seen "Web TV"-like initiatives crash and burn, mostly because what people want from a TV is not the same as what they want from a computer.

But then again, maybe we shouldn't speak for the next generation of TV viewers users.

Gen Y, or "digital natives" as they're often called, have grown up plugged in. And those that follow them may be even more plugged in, if that's even possible. These are demographics who have been socializing online since they learned to type, often at very, very young ages...even as young as elementary school.

Is it possible that this generation of TV viewers will shift and shape what it means to watch TV? It's very possible. Gen Y is already not watching much TV as much as they are going online. And when they do get around to viewing TV shows, it's usually time-shifted content courtesy of DVR's or it's content viewed online where TV is now becoming more social. NBC Universal's Hulu.com has just introduced a friends feature, for example, which lets online TV viewers create profiles and "friend" other users. Soon that same experience may find its way to the living room, too. Time will tell.

The Parks Associates report focuses on trends in the U.S. and Europe, but we imagine it's possible that digitally connected youth worldwide have the same interests. We wouldn't be surprised if they all want their "social TV."

Mar 25, 2009

CLIP Hearst Makes Bid To Buy Remaining Stake In Hearst-Argyle

Ed: Is the smart money moving from newspaper to TV, then web?

Hearst Corp. wants to buy the remaining stake in local TV operator Hearst-Argyle (NYSE: HTV). The company is offering $4.00 per share in cash, which Hearst says represents a 91 percent premium over the Hearst-Argyle's closing price on Tuesday. Just after Hearst's announcement, Hearst-Argyle was up about 1.9 percent to $2.13. Trading was halted shortly afterward, Marketwatch reported.

Hearst currently owns about 67 percent of the Hearst-Argyle's outstanding shares of Series A common stock and 100 percent of its Series B common stock. That represents 82 percent of both the outstanding equity and general voting power of Hearst-Argyle. Release

CLIP China syndrome: iPhone closing in on the mainland?

The iPhone has been in China for some time now. That is, if you count Hong Kong and Macau, or unlocked iPhones. But most people realize that a key for Apple is to gain penetration in the mainland Chinese market with the help of a major carrier. And it may be very close to such a deal, if pictures put up by carrier China Unicom are any indication.

It’s hard to know exactly what the presence of iPhone pictures on China Unicom’s site means, as every translation of the Chinese seems to be different. But given the recent reports floating around of Apple negotiating with China Unicom, it would certainly seem possible that the carrier will soon carry the iPhone. What’s more, a Chinese mobile industry source of ours says they hear that May 17, the China Telecom day, may be the day it’s formally announced.

This is the day that China Unicom will launch China’s first Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) 3G network. Earlier reports of the same day have also popped up on the Internet. 3G access was seen as one of the major roadblocks for getting the newest iPhone in China. This led to some speculation that Apple may make a smaller, slower version for the market.

While it might seem unlikely that details about an iPhone launch would leak out, given Apple’s track record of secrecy, “Chinese companies are not the best in keeping a tight lid,” says our source.

China Unicom is China’s second largest carrier, with over 125 million subscribers. It was thought that Apple badly wanted to partner with China’s largest carrier, China Mobile (which has almost a half billion subscribers), but that negotiations stalled.

Mar 24, 2009

CLIP Twitter Accepts Its First Ad Payment, Will 'Suggest' ExecTweets

In what may technically be its first ad deal, Twitter is accepting payment from Microsoft and John Battelle's Federated Media Publishing to promote ExecTweets, a service that aggregates tweets from top business executives.

According to FM Publishing, ExecTweets is "a real-time tool that helps you to find, follow and engage with the world's most prolific and successful business executives on Twitter."

While FM says ExecTweets does not represent an important revenue model for the service, Twitter's leadership has given the ad seller its blessing. In a post to the company's blog, founder Biz Stone wrote, "if you're a major brand and you want to sponsor a topic-focused social media experience with Twitter, we suggest Federated Media -- they'll fix you up right."

On a first glance, the interface would appear to have been rolled out a bit prematurely. For instance, the media and advertising category -- where FM should be well-equipped to generate rapid value -- is slim pickings for anyone not exclusively interested in Web publishing. Featured here is a who's who of overexposed digerati: Joi Ito, Guy Kawasaki, Tim O'Reilly, and Pete Blackshaw.

Whatever its flaws, ExecTweets is notable for one big reason. It appears to be the first time any brand has worked with Twitter on a paid basis. While its not clear how much Twitter received from Microsoft for supporting and promoting the tool, Battelle wrote in a blog post that "Federated Media felt that Twitter should share some of the revenue associated with ExecTweets since this project is made possible using their open platform."

A noble sentiment to be sure. However FM stands to benefit greatly -- arguably more than Twitter -- by being the first to engage the thunderously popular service in a paid relationship of any kind. That is a huge selling point for any ad seller.

For its part, Twitter must tread carefully. Having agreed to promote ExecTweets on its homepage and "suggested users" page, the company must now give careful thought to disclosure to avoid provoking user skepticism every time it recommends a product or Twitter user.

Mar 23, 2009

CLIP 3rd generation iPhone details trickle out

Ed Does this tie to the prior rumor about larger LCD purchases in Taiwan? Is this an iPod remote that controls the TV and browses?

by Peter Ha on March 23, 2009

Let us all for a moment believe that last week’srumor of new iPhone hardware is true. With that in mind, let’s all settle in for the latest batch of rumors regarding the new hotness from Apple according to the Boy Genius. BGR’s sources within AT&T have revealed a slew of tasty morsels about the upcoming handset announcement.

First and foremost is the announcement date, which shouldn’t come as a surprise anymore – mid-June. AT&T and Apple have been working on a U-Verse app that will allow you to control your home DVR. The new iPhone will be much faster than previous generations with talk of wicked fast HSDPA. This next bit is a bit out there, but we’ll let you decide.

They said customers shouldn’t need to choose from AT&T’s high-end devices because of features, they should choose based on preferences. The gap in capability should be filled with the new iPhone. Ok, bets on slide out QWERTY, autofocus camera, video sharing, blah blah?

And on a completely unrelated note, AT&T will begin selling a $99 3G netbook this summer, but it won’t be packing Windows.

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