Blog Post

Twitter for Business: Cut the Chatter with Twalala

twalalaA combination of events yesterday got me thinking about how much time I spend sifting my Twitter stream for valuable, work-related and/or professionally useful information. First, fellow WWD writer Aliza Sherman posted a tweet about starting a second account to follow only those twitterers you really want to pay special attention to. Then, Chris Morin posted a comment on my post about key web working skills in 2009 that brought up the same issue.

I’m not even following a very large number of people, and yet if I add it up, mining my tweets takes up a fair amount of my time during the day. I considered doing as Aliza suggests, but that would also mean switching accounts to post under my main identity, or else using a program that supports multiple accounts at once.

Not willing to make the trade, I started looking around for alternative solutions. That’s when I found Twalala, a third party Twitter client that boasts improved control. Twalala allows you to filter your twitstream by keyword or phrase, and you can temporarily silence twitterers who might be getting on your nerves and/or spamming.

picture-14As you can see in the screen shot, next to the reply button in the upper right corner of every tweet displayed is another button which allows you to mute that individual. If you mute a user, all of their updates will no longer appear in your twitstream (the one displayed at Twalala.com, anyway).

picture-22You can also filter by specific keyword or phrase. This could be very useful if a topic starts to seriously trend on Twitter that you’re not particularly interested in. Plus, you can combine it with an exception keyword to make sure nothing professionally relevant escapes, even it happens to meet your exclusion criteria. For example, I might not want to see any tweets talking about Britney Spears, unless they’re also related to social media, so I could set “social media” or “blog”, etc. as my exception variable.

It’s a solution that works, so long as you’re ok with using a browser-based Twitter client. Don’t get me wrong, I like Twitter’s random nature. Everyone I follow, I follow for a reason. But there’s a time and place for everything, and Twalala is one way to help establish those limits.

How do you manage your professional Twitter use? Any tools, practices, applications, etc. to suggest?

19 Responses to “Twitter for Business: Cut the Chatter with Twalala”

  1. I didn’t meant to hijack the comments and point them to Tweetdeck, but the final question in the comments asked!

    I did go over and try out Twalala and, for a web app, it’s very good and is off to a very fine start! The big advantage Twalala could have over something like Tweetdeck is that its’ web based so you can have it anywhere. The two products solve the same problem and there’s no reason I won’t use both.

  2. Chuckling softly at the fact that Tweetdeck is not even mentioned in the review but is getting strong recommendations in the comments.

    Chalk me up as another TweetDeck user – nothing else comes close and if I want to watch a particular topic I can search for it online. Tweetdeck lets me sift out the important stuff.

    Twitter becomes a lot easier when you realise you can’t possibly sip from the fire hose that is Twitter.

    Thanks: Micheal Axelsen

  3. On my way to check out Twalala now but first wanted to let you know, I to rely heavily on Tweetdeck for this kind of filtering. If anybody wants to learn how to make the most of the group and search functions within Tweetdeck take a look at this Tweetdeck how to. Thanks for the Twalala tip off, I will be sure to check in here again soon!

  4. I would have to agree with the others that TweetDeck is great!

    I just starting using it a couple of days ago after seeing that some many of my replies from others were coming from their TweetDeck.

    Definitely customizable and worth looking at…

    Thanks for the post!

    Donovan “DFitnessguy” Owens

  5. Matches Malone

    TweetDeck. I haven’t explored all the possibilities yet of this powerful app, however, it works for my current Twitter needs. My browser is for, well, everything else….

  6. I just want to second other comments above about Tweetdeck (tweetdeck.com). It is for me, by far, the best Twitter Desktop client. The Grouping feature is the killer feature, which allows you to show only Tweets from a ‘group’ of people you are following in a separate frame.
    Moreover, you can also do a specific search for specific keywords, and show the result in yet ‘another’ frame :)
    Your main Twitter timeline will still be available for you in the main frame, but you can watch/monitor specific informations on the other ones. Simply Awesome!

  7. Marshall Huwe

    Definitely TweetDeck for all of the above mentioned reasons. It has made Twitter a useful tool vs a fire-hose of information that cannot possibly be assimilated!

  8. Thanks for the write up. I’m always looking for new tools in hopes of finding the right one to manage social media. I tried Twirl and Tweetdeck and wasn’t pleased. At your suggestion, I clicked on Twalala. The link provided above and that on the Internet through a Google search asked for a password. I assume it wanted my Twitter information. Basic Internet common sense and the events of the last couple of weeks precluded me from giving that without at least a landing page and introduction. I guess I’ll wait until a few more people test this one out. It sounds great, though.

  9. I made the switch to TweetDeck a few weeks back. Using the group functionality allows me to identify people under common themes such as people I consider thought leaders and what to see everything they post; news sources I follow as time allows; local twits for what is happening in my immediate network. I also identify time wasters or spam. By grouping you can mark large numbers as read and then clear screen after within that specific group. This leaves a manageable group within the all_friends category that I can read in-depth as time allows.

    I do some minor filtering on key words within groups that have grown especially long and I have limited time. There is so much info though I hate to clear screen too quickly because key words searching is too coarse. There are often nuggets buried in the stream that have to be sought out.

  10. Tweetdeck is pretty awesome and should satisfy what you’re trying to do. Haven’t tried Twalala.

    Here are a few tips:
    – Give up trying to follow everything that’s going on. That was a real problem for me when I started.
    – If it’s important or neat, people will retweet it all day long.
    – If it’s something you want more info on, do a search.

    I heard someone describe Twitter as a big party. When you treat it like that, you realize how crazy it is to try to listen to all the conversations that are happening at the same time.