Home Bringing Order to Twitter Chaos: Twylah’s Topic Tracker

Bringing Order to Twitter Chaos: Twylah’s Topic Tracker

There’s no shortage of services that take content from the Twitter firehose and present it in a different way. But one caught my eye recently, because it’s doing something I’d always hoped a really good RSS aggregator would do: track topics. Nobody ever built the RSS topic tracker that I’d dreamed about. It’s not a technical problem, more of a demand one. As you all know, the Web has evolved over the past 5-10 years into a very social tool. People prefer to follow (= track) people, more so than follow topics.

However, perhaps the time for topic trackers has come – given the ever growing problem of information overload in the Social Web. Twylah is thinking along those lines and has served up a pretty good (beta) solution.

Twylah has a simple concept: create a separate page for each topic a person discusses regularly on Twitter. For example, this week I’ve been tweeting (and posting) about museums. So Twylah automatically created a topic page for my museum tweets. It includes my tweets this week on that topic, as well as older tweets it found in my Twitter account related to museums. The oldest it found was dated February 8, when I tweeted about Google’s virtual museum service.

There’s a homepage for each Twitter user, attempting to organize your tweets by topic and media type instead of chronologically. Here’s mine.

Twylah also has a section called Topic Leaders. It’s a list of users, categorized into topics such as ‘Design,’ ‘Media,’ ‘Facebook’ and so on. There’s no apparent order to the categories and the page is an intimidatingly long list. There’s a Featured Influencers page too, which appears to be a curated list of top trackers.

I like how Twylah embeds multimedia, such as video, into its topic pages. A good example is the Twylah page for GeekBeat.tv star Cali Lewis. She recently went to Berlin and that topic page features video coverage from her trip.

Twylah is being marketed as a way for brands to showcase their Twitter content. Social media power user Robert Scoble thinks that Twylah creates a much better Twitter landing page than Twitter.com.

There are a number of Twitter third party services with funny ‘Tw’ names and most of them don’t capture the public’s imagination. Twylah probably won’t take off either, but it’s an interesting concept – because topic tracking is a good way to create order out of the chaotic tweetosphere, plus give some longevity to tweets.

Twitter should either acquire Twylah, or create a similar topic tracking service. What do you think?

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