Twitter these days and it cannot be ignored.Like it or not, there's a whole lot of conversation going on via microblogging service
Let's say you've subscribed to a search feed for your company's name (via Terraminds) and you've found someone talking smack about your employer, Perfect Angel Inc. What do you do? Well, one thing you might find useful is the new service Tweeterboard.
On Tweeterboard you'll find not only a list of the top 100 most influential users on Twitter - you can also look up any of almost 2000 users and see who they are conversing with and get some idea how much influence they carry in the Twitter ecosystem. Only a small portion of Twitter users are being tracked so far - but if indexing can be automated (!) then this could become a very important service. Admittedly, it's a much thornier question to ask how Perfect Angel Inc. should engage with a hater on Twitter even after they know something about them - but Twitterboard can be a helpful first step. The service may look like just another monument to elitism, but in fact it will tell you a lot of interesting information about many people you'll encounter on Twitter.
Jeremiah Owyang, blogger turned analyst at Forrester, says "Finally, a Twitter measurement tool that works" and the site is certainly useful and interesting in a variety of ways if nothing else. Are you a Twitter doubter? See another analyst, James Governor, who writes "If Markets are Conversations, Then Twitter is Money." Realize, too, that Twitter was co-founded by Evan Williams, the man who co-founded Blogger.com - so he's got a track record of building simple winners.
Your influence is determined by the influence of people who talk about you publicly, apparently, though it's not completely clear.Tweeterboard tracks who replies publicly to a given user using the @ symbol and their user name, and who they reply to as well. It then uses a secret algorithm to assign a number of points. Generally speaking, it appears to work like the premise of Google - value is conferred to you through links from people who have had high value conferred to them by links from people who have...
Joi Ito is currently #1 on the list, yours truly is #22 and Tracy Apps, a nerdly drummer artist mom in Milwaukee, WI is currently #100 on the list. The leaderboard is changing a lot right now though; presumably time and algorithm adjustments will slow that change down a little bit at least.
While you can look at the number of followers and friends a person has on Twitter to get some idea of how much weight they carry, that's only good for so much. So is a black-box algorithm, but there's a variety of data available on Tweeterboard beyond simple ranking and points.
I'll be adding this one to my Twitter tool-set, along with the following other services I find useful and/or particularly interesting. I'll bet you've got some of your own, too.
- Hashtags.org - start a campaign by using an agreed upon subject tag.
- TwitterWhere - get a feed of all Tweets from users within a given geographic area.
- TwitterCal - add events to your Google Cal via Twitter, very handy for quick scheduling.
- 3rd Party Publishing Apps - see our survey and review of the most popular options.