July 28, 2009

Two Simple Twitter Friend Search Tools You Shouldn't Overlook

I have been looking for an effective tool that lets me search quickly through Twitter friends and followers but have not yet seen anything that really fits the bill.

True, you can create groups on Tweetdeck and other apps to create smaller, more manageable feeds. But that still doesn't give you the option of a quick search for "that guy from Austin" or a one-click quick way to go straight to a particular Tweeter. And when you're following hundreds or thousands of Tweeters, things can get a little overwhelming.

To tide me over, I've rediscovered the elegant simplicity of two humble web-interface tools that take me right to the people whose tweets I read most frequently, the Twitter equivalent of my "Fave 5."

The first is the often-ignored star, the "Favorites" tool. Most people use it to save favorite tweets but I use it to save the Tweeters I find myself checking in with most frequently. That way I can open my list, scan through the approximately 30 Tweeters I've saved, and go right to the person whose feed I want to read. And updating it is a breeze.

The second simple tool is the bookmark function on my browser. That's right, the bookmark! I've created a Twitter folder on my tool bar, added pages to it, then sorted those pages by name to alphabetize them. That creates a pull-down list that gets me to "Dean", or "the other Dean" or "David" in lightning quick time. And because it's alphabetized, which works for me, I find I can use it to quickly scan through over 50 Tweeters. Old-fashioned, perhaps, but speedy and effective.

Two simple tools, two quick ways to click through the clutter and get quick access to your favorite streams.