My Essential Twitter Tools

Find me at jowyang on Twitter

Many conversations are shifting to Twitter, this post proves it (network with others, by adding those in the comments). Twitter is extensible, and many third-party developers are creating tools around the simple data being exported for a variety of unique applications.

If you’re using Twitter for personal, corporate use, or to manage the brand of a client, you’ll need the right tools to find and engage the discussions.

Here are the tools that I’m using to improve my Twitter experience, note that all of these are using my profile, but you can change to fit your needs.

1) Client: Although I mainly use the browser to see what’s going on (I click on profiles to see what people have said) Twhirl is the most popular client, using adobe air technology. Leave this on your desktop, instead of going to browser, also these clients may be more accurate in seeing who’s replying to you, unlike the browser version.

2) Search: Use Tweetscan (Update: I now use Summize as it can track conversations) to see who’s talking about you, your brand, or a topic you’re interested in. For example, I may not just search on “jowyang” but also on “owyang” as some don’t use the full name.

3) Conversations: Quotably is the top ‘conversation’ tracker, it threads together the discussions that members are having by looking at the replies, interesting to see how conversations spiral into different threads.

4) Aggregation: Friendfeed puts all of our RSS content onto one page, making it easy to see from one glance (rather than going to different properties) and you can even reply from friendfeed to different tools. It’s smarter to organize around people, rather than tools.

5) Tagging Content: For advanced users, you can start to use the hashag “#” to add metadata around any tweet, this becomes more important as we rate and tag content. Here’s a helpful primer. I’m not making much use of this feature –yet.

6) Location Based:
If you live in a particular area, and want to parse out a specific location, this Twitterlocal filter finds tweets based upon a users profile location. If you’ve a local business, this could become useful.

7) Alerts:
(update) Often, people will blog about the conversations that happen in twitter, the conversation shifts back to blogs. As a result, I setup Google Alerts for the phrase @jowyang, I see it appear 3-5 times a week on blogs. Thanks Andrew for the reminder in the comments.

I should add that I check to see who is replying to me from my mobile phone, and sometimes update from mobile phone.

Out of the 6, now 7 tools I listed above, which ones do you use, or are there others you recommend?

191 Replies to “My Essential Twitter Tools”

  1. A couple passive tools that I’ve found useful:

    Don’t forget a Google Alert for your username. I set one up for @acafourek a few months ago so I can see when my username rather than my real name is referenced in a blog post somewhere out there.

    You can also claim your twitter page on Technorati to monitor who is linking to it from posts.

  2. Thanks, Jeremiah. I’m always learning something new from you! I wasn’t aware of Twitterlocal. I’m going to check it out 🙂

  3. Ugh, please, not hashtags! They’re Ok for one-off purposes (like the Superbowl ad thing), but I really don’t like seeing them inserted in day to day twittering.

    Twitter is a human communication vehicle, regular use of hashtags removes some of the humanity.

  4. Tweetburner looks cool thanks @eef!

    I have been testing out which is an IM based client. It stores my twitter account, facebook account, myspace account, as many email accounts as I can store, and IM accounts. It has been pretty smooth. I also use twitterbar in the FLOCK browser. lets you set any blog to feed to twitter so I have found that useful.

    I track @agershenbaum on google and sometimes get alerts though that say my name or screen name is mentioned but I can’t find it on the page anywhere
    usually from technorati.

  5. Thanks for including my post on hashtags as part of this impressive list of tools! Glad it can help others as it has for me.

    I think the twitter fan wiki is an excellent resource kit in of itself. especially the apps section! Invaluable information and links.
    All maintained by hardcore twitter members.


  6. @jowyang – one other service that I use regularly is ( also has a flavor that’s good at catching @’s irrespective of where they appear in the tweet.) Twittermail will email you a list of all tweets referencing your @username.

    Two other interesting tools are if you do follow hash tags and (a must for tracking who’s following you and comparing it to who you are following back.)


  7. I’ve actually started to use a combination of #2 (Twitter search) and #4 (FriendFeed).

    You can do a search on terms for FreinedFeed, and get an RSS feed of the results. You pick up more than just Twitter that way. You can include Jaiku, Pownce, new blog posts, Tumblr, sites someone StumbleUpon’d, etc.

    More comprehensive than Tweetscan. This guy has the hack that turns FriendFeed search results into an RSS feed:

  8. Jeremiah,

    Nice recap of some of the many twitter services out there. Over at mahalo our Twitter page ( is one of the most active. The page is already huge and there are 191 submitted links waiting to be checked.

    I wrote a post about “you twitter autobiography” linked above. Yet another thing to use this unicorn powered service for. 🙂

    Take care,

  9. Part of the reason that conversation threads on Quotably seem to spiral, is that there isn’t enough information in the packet of a single tweet to identify the specific tweet it’s responding to. So the web site (and clients, and services like Q) go to the quoted timeline and look for the tweet closest in time to the response. But if I reply to one of your messages, but you’ve sent two more since I saw the one and composed my reply, these services associate my reply with the later one, not the one I’m actually replying to.

    Personally, more than most of the features people are clamoring for, I’d like to see messages that are replies able to explicitly refer to the tweet they’re referencing.

  10. Perhaps I’ve spent too much time building pages on the internet instead of playing on the web. Thanks for posting these tools! The tweetburner tool looks cool for internet marketing.

  11. Thanks for the Twitter resources Jeremiah. My favorite client for Twitter is Snitter (over Twirl), for two main reasons. First because I can go full screen, and two because when I click on a link it opens a new tab.

  12. I’ve blogged about my experience and use; since the disappearance of terraminds, I use tweetscan, too.

    I find that some individuals drown the conversations, so use RSS extensively (including the RSS feed for my tweetscan for @steveellwood), and for a quick check on my follower/following status I use Twitter Karma

  13. I update almost exclusively from my Netvibes page, which I keep open all the time I’m online. I use Tweetscan, especially to find out who’s talking about clients.

  14. for those of you interested, we at have a kind of “open” twitter channel on the right hand top corner.

    We parse all Twitter messages using twitterfeed, then republish the RSS feed. Easy to set up, and quite fun to follow.

    Just add “PP2008” to your twit’, you’ll appear on our website.

    (if you use the # before PP2008, you’ll also generate stats with Hashtags, but you need to follow @hashtags first on Twitter)

    hope you’ll find it interesting


  15. TweetScan is an absolutely essential tool, which helps you find tweets in which your handle may be somewhere in the middle. For example:

    “@oemperor you should read that post by @jowyang”

    TweetScan was down for a few hours on Saturday, and that was almost as bad as losing Twitter itself.

    While I’m a fan of FriendFeed, I don’t know that I’d classify it as a “Twitter tool,” since it aggregates so many things. But it’s a good tool nonetheless.

  16. I don’t know if it can actually be described as a ‘tool’ in the sense it is being used here, but I pulled in a lot of news feeds from the UK gov ( so I could use twitter and track UK gov news releases at the same time.

  17. For twitter search I perfer what has put together —

    It brings more to the table than tweetscan and does a better job. The ajax refresh is a nice feature to make it truly real-time.

  18. I use Twirl and for the most part, it works out pretty well (not a whole huge heapin’ amount of crashes).

    Can I also mention my contribution for Twitter – the humor site ? All the worlds’ twitter problems solved, one parallel universe at a time. 🙂



  19. You should tie together Twitter “client” and “location” items, and then Twinkle for iPhone needs a mention.
    Its definitely worth checking that one out.

  20. Twhirl ( is a useful tool for sure. Especially if you are managing multiple twitter accounts, or if you want to monitor twitter, plurk, and friendfeed accounts all in one place.

    I have 3 that I update regularly, as I really try not to mix a bunch of mindless personal crap into my twitter feed. I also try to un-follow folks that are disrupting my day with the same kinda crap.

    TweetDeck (, however is taking it over for me. It’s SO useful in fact, that I am using it to manage my main account, and have twhirl open to manage/monitor the other two accounts that I update less frequently. I rarely follow the conversations on those other two accounts, so it works out perfectly.

  21. Thanks for providing this listof Twitter tools. I™m a big Twitter user myself.

    I™m also working as an intern at Webbed Marketing, a social media marketing agency. As Twitter fans, and fans of 80s rock, we recently recorded a Twibute to Twitter: Pour Some Twitter on Me. I hope you™ll give it a listen, and if you like it, add it to your list of links.

    Thanks, please let me know if I can provide any additional information.

  22. There are some really great Twitter apps for sure. I rely on Tweetdeck and Tweet Later a lot. Wish someone would write something that combines many of the great features in to one smokin Twitter app!

  23. that is some good information. I think it is important new users or people that are wanting massive followers can use the same tools upcoming signed recording artist are using. I found 3 links that a new recording artist is using and people say will have over a million followers soon!
    If you are wanting over a million I suggest you get on board with them before they get banned!

    -j. eubanks

  24. Have you tried – searches the timeline, then groups tweets as people – then choose to add to your profile.

    Chris Denman

  25. Great post! Have you checked out It’s an amazing new tool for turning Bible verses into short URLs.


    1. People Search : Find people with keywords in their Bio and follow them.
    2. Cross Follow : Find people who are following some account, or who are followed by some account. They can then be mass followed with ease.
    3. Mass Follow/Unfollow (one will get the list and he can chose the people to follow or unfollow)
    a) Flush — Unfollow who do not follow you
    b) Grow — Find and follow people who are likely to follow back
    c) Reciprocate — Follow your followers 4. Direct Operation — Mass Follow/Unfollow people directly without choosing from the list 5. Follow Lock / Unfollow Lock — Lock people who you don’t want to follow or unfollow with Buzzom

  27. Hello guys! How are you doing? Well I’m writing to let you know there is a web page that goes with this address: and you might find it interesting. Is about posting people you know with twitter accounts, that in one way or another you might think he or she is a loser and needs some help. You could follow them on twitter also. Is about changing someone’s life for better.

  28. Thanks, Jeremiah. I™m always learning something new from you! I wasn™t aware of Twitterlocal. I™m going to check it out.

  29. Spitter Bot is an ONLINE Twitter automation tool used to keep your Twitter updated 24 hours a day with your personal tweets. If you spend hours doing Twitter updates each day this is the perfect tool for you.

    Store as many Tweets in your database as you want! The more the better! Spitter Bot will keep posting your updates 24-7 when you can’t!

  30. Hi,

    We are DNOiSe, from Spain, and we have released the beta versión of “followthehashtag”, a twitter trends graph generator. You can find it usefull to find oppinion leaders, people to follow or track #hashtags

    you can find it on

    Feel free to buzz our tool if you find it usefull

    Thanks a lot and enjoy it! 😉

  31. People are commenting with Twitter, but I never read the Tweets. Everyone I have asked does not read the tweets. I do read the comments though. Everyone knows that Twitter is a system for notifications, not much different than a RSS feed and reader. No one goes there to learn anything or to hang out. They go there to broadcast to their receivers.

    How is Twitter going to maintain its value? Once they start monetizing it, people will migrate to a new service. They already have annoyed millions with the Verizon Tweet you cannot delete.

  32. People are commenting with Twitter, but I never read the Tweets. Everyone I have asked does not read the tweets. I do read the comments though. Everyone knows that Twitter is a system for notifications, not much different than a RSS feed and reader. No one goes there to learn anything or to hang out. They go there to broadcast to their receivers.

    How is Twitter going to maintain its value? Once they start monetizing it, people will migrate to a new service. They already have annoyed millions with the Verizon Tweet you cannot delete.

  33. Send your Twitter's tweets to your friends Emails, Automatically just with a Hashtag!

    Tweet to Email makes it easy for people to email selective tweets directly from Twitter itself to their friends Email who don't use Twitter.

    Many people are just not into Twitter yet. You can help them by sending tweet you think may like right into their email inbox . you can share link , quotes or news updates with all your friends even if they didn't use Twitter .

    Its very simple to use:

    * Login With Twitter ID (and optionally enter your email address)
    * Create a groups
    * select hash tag for that group ( Example:#TM1 )
    * Add your contacts manually or save your time by importing your address boook
    * Start sending your selective tweet to emails just by adding group's hash tag to your tweet

    Give your Tweets new dimension , It's time to share your tweets with the whole world. It's time to Tweet to Email

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