Like many Twitter users, I have a broad range of followers who I’ve picked up for a variety of reason over time, while the people I follow are similarly varied. I’m often aware that some of tweets I put out may be of interest to a few but may be intensely dull or irrelevent to others. I’m wondering whether greater user of hashtags might aid the tracking of themes for all involved.
For instance, the @imule account talks a lot about what’s going on locally; something that could be grouped under the occasionally used #WD3 hashtag. Then, if someone wanted to see what local things have been talked about recently, they need only search or filter for the hashtag.
Now of course you could search for other key words to find local content, however my feeling is there are too many of these to effectively keep track of what’s being taken about. Would you search for Rickmansworth, Ricky, SW Herts, South West Hertfordshire, Chorleywood, Croxley, WD3? Plus, there are likely a number of tweets that imply local content from their sender but where there’s nothing explicit in the content to indicate localness.
I also often find I miss interesting tweets by others due simply to the time of day that they tweet. For instance, I generally can’t check Twitter during the day. I’ve recently found myself wondering if several of the favourite people I follow have stopped tweeting. They haven’t; they’ve just tweeted when I’ve not been checking and either I’ve not had time to go through all the tweets of the day, or my Twitter app doesn’t download enough apps to go far enough back through the day to pick them up. I miss out on the tweets, only occasionally picking up on some of them later, and feel all the poorer for it.
Tracking down truly useful iPhone apps can be a tricky business. My iPhone is all but full with apps but when I think of it there’s relatively few I use on a regular basis; most falling into the category of ‘handy to have, just in case’. The App Store highlights the most popular and featured, which encompasses a good deal of the quality, yet some truly mediocre yet talked about apps can make their way into the top listings while niche apps may also fall into the relatively obscurity of the lower listings pages.
There follows three apps throughly worth investigating: Twittelator – perhaps the ultimate Twitter client for iPhone; Train Search – a newly released, free and excellent train timetable & live running app; RedLaser - scan the bar code of products you see in a shop and compare the prices online. For me each of these marks new heights in the function, quality and/or value of iPhone apps.
Tweetdeck has long been one of the most highly regarded Twitter management applications, offering the ability to break down your Tweets of your followers by groups.
Although a single Twitter timeline can be manageable initially, an increase in users you follow can quickly lead to many posts being missed. Twitter users also typically contact users with a variety of shared interests and before long the a need develops to group users by theme enabling more efficient tracking of conversations and highlighting the posts of users of most interest. This is where Tweetdeck steps in; offering the best grouping and management of Twitter timelines currently available.
Naturally Tweetdeck developed as an application for desktop computers but has now, at last, made the jump to iPhone, allowing the same level of timeline management on the go. Best of all, the desktop and mobile versions sync with each other, ensuring the same groups are available on both devices.
The fragmentation of audiences due to modern multichannel and multiplatform media has lead to a decline in shared experiences. In times past, much of the population would have watched the Morecambe & Wise Christmas Special. This created common cultural experiences for a nation; reference points, shared feeling and identity.
These days, the population has grown but most programmes struggle to manage a few million viewers. Viewing habits are diffused; it’s more difficult to share experiences and feel a common identity as a result. Yet while technology may fragment audiences, it also holds the potential to rekindle these shared experiences once more.
Yesterday was Eurovision day; not a high-point of musical talent perhaps but it still draws significant audiences. It’s the first Eurovision contest since Twitter really hit the mainstream and a huge number of users simultaneously commenting on the event was clearly in evidence. A sizeable chunk of my Twitter followers were commenting with celebrity Tweeters such as @wossy creating a lot of activity.
Regular visitors to the blog will have noticed the new Twitter feed on the right of the page. Yes, the mule now offers instant news and updates through Twitter in addition to the more considered musings here on the blog.
If you’re not familiar with Twitter, it’s a popular site that allows you to post 140 character long messages, viewable to anyone who chooses to follows your feed. Its popularity has been growing steadily over the past two years and as with other websites noted for tapping into the zeitgeist is reaching a critical mass. Twitter’s growing influence is growing the following of an ever broader and important user base. Media coverage reaching a high point yesterday as the first photo of the plane in the Hudson River reached world attention through Twitter, making the poster an instant, if temporary, celebrity.
So it is that the Mule joins the Twitter and hopes that visitors will enjoy how the immediacy of the tweets complements the blog. Let us know your thoughts and please follow our Twitter feed.