a brief list of social networks for meeting and conversing with entrepreneurs, and in the comments section we received lots of suggestions that could have made the list as well. One such suggestion was Sprouter, which is, for lack of a better description and despite having a few unique features, a Twitter clone for entrepreneurs.A few weeks ago we brought you
Users can enter a 140-character status update and see both a public timeline and a list of updates from the users they follow, which can be filtered into groups. Users can also create "Events" and "Topics" around which to talk about by using hashtags - a nice feature that adds on what the Twitter culture has developed.
When I checked out Sprouter a few weeks ago, it was lacking a few obvious features, namely Twitter integration and the ability to find friends on other social networks. Just yesterday, however, both of these features made their debut on the service, making it exponentially more useful.
Sprouter's 10,000-plus users can now link their accounts and send updates back and forth between the two services, either by choosing to push all of their updates out from Sprouter, or by using the #Sprouter hashtag in Twitter.
"Twitter has a huge audience, and we recognize that many Sprouter users also use the service," says CEO Sarah Prevette. "Now it's easy for members to keep both accounts up-to-date while still leveraging the niche power of Sprouter - Twitter integration will only add to the number of conversations taking place and resources being shared."
In addition, tools for discovering contacts from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Gmail now make Sprouter a less lonely experience. When I tried them out, they all worked with the exception of Facebook, which after connecting left me with a blank page. Multiple attempts on various browsers returned the same issue; Sprouter's community manager Erin Bury says they are looking into the error.
Previously, the most glaring problem with the service was that I had no idea if anyone I knew was on Sprouter. With the contact importer I now know that a handful of my contacts are in fact using the service, and with the new Twitter integration, I could see myself and others making use of this service to share information and communicate with entrepreneurs.
One of the features that helped Twitter become a break-out success was their support for SMS updates and their API, which spawned countless desktop and mobile applications. Sprouter says they have an iPhone application on the way in order to view and post statuses, but the new Twitter integration with the #Sprouter hashtag makes any Twitter client a portal through which to post to the service. To get more familiar with Sprouter, check out their screencast embedded below.