Tuesday, October 18, 2011

TUESDAY TIP (Tool) Filtering Your Twitterstream in #Hootsuite #pubtip #twitterspeak

Yes, another entry in my Twitter Series, again featuring the great little free app called Hootsuite. If you haven't read the earlier entries discussing why Hootsuite is such a great little app, click here for basic setup tips and for a mini-tutorial on how to use the Publisher to schedule your tweets, click here.

Streams Overflowing?

One of the hardest things to deal with when it comes to Twitter is the fact it is a non-stop stream of chatter. This is good (and the point of the system) but it can be overwhelming. Sometimes you just want to focus on one conversation or one area of discussion--or maybe you're searching for answers to a question. The way to avoid the noise and focus on just the signal you seek is to define a method for filtering your view. Hootsuite gives you a few options but Hootsuite calls them all "streams." This is a little confusing for some people, but it's not all that complicated. Click through the jump -- screenshots beyond!

Defining a New Stream

Just in case you set up your Hootsuite environment and have now forgotten how to get a new stream, I'll review. Do you see where the "1" is in the screen shot below? That's where you click to "Add Stream." We'll define what goes into the stream after we create it.

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After you click "Add Stream," Hootsuite will open a dialog (see below). Click on one of the tabs to choose what kind of stream you want to add. In the screen shot, I'm about to set up a new "feed."

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You can choose to set up a new feed for any of your profiles. Choose the social network on the left, then pull down the box to choose the User ID. For instance, in the image below, I've selected Twitter and then "webbiegrrl."

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Following #hashtag conversations

If you prefer, you can create a stream for something more specific--this is how you "filter." In the image below, I'm choosing to enter a search term--the #SampleSunday hashtag--for my new stream:

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After I click "Create Stream," Hootsuite will add the new column to my dashboard, placing it to the far right (probably out of view unless you scroll horizontally to find it). You can rearrange the columns in your dashboard to see the things which interest you most in the first screen width. I rearrange mine all the time.  Just click and drag the stream's column to where you want it (see image below) and once you let go, Hootsuite will fill in the feed with current posts--in this case, the most recent tweets containing the #SampleSunday hashtag.

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Viewing Lists
Early on, I mentioned the usefulness of creating and using lists for segregating your Tweeps and following just one group of conversations. Whether you want to create your own lists or "subscribe" (follow) the lists of tweeps you follow, you can create a stream in Hootsuite for a list just like you do for a #hashtag or a feed. Click the "Lists" tab (see "2" below) and then choose whether or not you want to make a stream for your own list or someone else's (see "3" below).

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Next choose one of the lists displayed - in the screen shot shown above, I have chosen my "Subscribed Lists" and highlighted the "worldbuilders" list created by Jeremy Rodden (@toonopolis).

As you can also see in this screen shot, you could just create a  new list from here. You have to individually add people to lists, though, so I usually do my listing from the Twitter interface.

Filtering Hootsuite does NOT do
There are a myriad of ways to use these kinds of tools for filtering "in" stuff you want to see, but the one thing Hootsuite doesn't yet offer is a way to filter "out" what you do NOT want to see. The streams themselves even have an option to "filter" but again, that's filter IN, not OUT.

Hootsuite, if you're listening, here's a wish list item for the next rev: I want a way to take my entire Twitterstream and then use search terms or keywords (or my lists!) to REMOVE things from that stream.

What's Next....
Next up is Freebie Friday. Get a sneak peek at what's going to be featured by clicking here.

Indie Authors, if you've got a book with a "witchy" theme or otherwise would like to join the Halloween Weekend (October 28th) Freebie Friday feature, submit your book early to this week's thread. Get in early or the feature will fill up (already got 1 entry).


roro said...

tnx 4 the tips needed it

Webbiegrrl Writer said...

you are quite welcome! :)