Tagging, Tracking and Using RSS with Twitter!

Tagging, Tracking and Using RSS with Twitter!

Beth Kanter and Amy Gahran have been discussing their use of twitter has meant they are less inclined to social bookmark items using del.icio.us. While twitter offers immediate gratification and connection with people plus heads-up of latest news/resources it is less ideal for retrieval and sharing at later dates.

Beth thoughts are:

  • If we add tags to Twitter we have a merge between object sharing and people sharing. What’s nice it is that with social booking sites like del.icio.us, it is difficult to know who has shared the item unless their account is appropriate marked. This combination of tagging and tweets gives you both.
  • She is hoping that those nptechers on twitter might adopt using hashtags and share information this way however she can’t figure out how to subscribe to the RSS feed for #nptech at hashtags.

My thoughts, after spending considerable time previously investigating how to get more out of using twitter, would be to use TweetScan rather than hashtags. TweetScan locates all tweets, by any twitter user, that include the term you use (thanks Alan Levine for telling me about TweetScan). With TweetScan you can choose to:

  1. Subscribe to the RSS feed for the tracking term using your feed reader
  2. or join TweetScan and have the search results email to your daily or weekly. Via email can use up to 5 search terms.

I use TweetScan for tracking people’s replies to my twitter name dswaters and any other variations people have used e.g. suewaters. However TweetScan is just as useful for tags like nptech.

To work effectively with a group, you would need to ask all twitters to use the required tag term within their tweet and teach them how to effectively subscribe to the RSS feed.



This is my solution for Beth. Do you have a better recommendation for her? Or are there other Twitter tools that she should also consider using?

7 thoughts on “Tagging, Tracking and Using RSS with Twitter!

  1. I’m not good at using RSS feeds – I never remember to go to the reader to check for any updated feeds – and often become overwhelmed if there’s too many that have been posted.

    I’ve find through twitter (http://twitter.com/theother66) that I’m now reading lots more blogs – which have been recommended by others – so they’re worth reading. No feeling of ‘too many feeds to read’ anxiety either.

    I’ve also found since joining the twitter community that I’ve actually done a lot more bookmarking into del.icio.us (http://del.icio.us/imillera) – again with all the great websites fellow twitters have been recommending.

    Thanks for another great blog post Sue.

  2. Seems to me the limitation here is the 140 char limit in Twitter. If you include more than a couple of tags, you don’t have room to write anything meaningful. That might not be a problem for some folks, but that would be crippling for me, since when I tag somethign I tend to tag it thoroughly.

    – Amy Gahran

  3. I have been reading your thoughts about twitter for some time and trying to decide whether to join or not. I do not know anyone who uses it so I am thinking that it would be one more thing to distract me. What do you think, Sue?

  4. Thanks Sue for doing such great pictures of Tweet Scan.

    One other thing is if you don’t like rss all that much, like Allison above, you can save up to five tracking terms in Tweet Scan’s settings and run through them whenever you want with the Click >> button. I modeled it after Google’s Next button which I found to be a cool way to read posts in rss feeds.

  5. Hi Allison – I am wondering which feed reader you are using? Mine is such a big part of my day because I use Google Reader on my iGoogle page so it is just part of my daily routine and Google Reader makes it easy to keep my feeds under control.

    However I know a lot of people are like yourself and are now using RSS less, relying on links in twitter to provide posts worth reading. Funnily I am doing a lot less bookmarking with del.icio.us due to twitter and Google Reader.

    Hi Amy – can totally see your issue with twitter and the number of characters. It is so frustrating that is there is no quick fix to storing resources and links with twitter.

    Hi Sarah – twitter is definitely one of those applications you can’t judge from the outside. Each person is individual. Some really love it and appreciate the value while for others it doesn’t suit them. Most the people in my twitter stream I didn’t know until they started following me but now they are an important part of my community ; freely offering help and support. Twitter doesn’t have to be a distraction if you learn to use it effectively.

    Hi David – glad you liked the pictures of tweetscan. I did think about including screenshots of the email system but was being lazy.

    Hi Beth – glad you like the idea of TweetScan but as you point out in your later post it’s not an easy solution. But nothing seems to be a quick fix to this issue.

    Another thought I had is to tackle it another way – set up a twitter account called Nptech. Get all NPtech people to follow this account but NPtech account doesn’t follow people back. Use the NPtech account to only send important links and get all followers to send information to it using @NPtech this way only the most important information will be shared. The only problem will be that everyone will need to subscribe to feed from the twitter account.

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