If you’ve been shunning Web 2.0 social apps for an entire year, I forgive you for not knowing about Twitter. Otherwise, where have you been? Twitter is a multi-mode message delivery system used most often to answer the question “What are you doing?” Only, the cool kids know that the answer to that question is far less useful than “What has your attention?”

But I’ve come up with something that might placate a few nay-sayers.

First, if you don’t “get” Twitter, I don’t want to convince you otherwise. The trick is not to read every message that goes by, but to use the whole thing as a mass of information, and pluck out what’s important. But if that’s too inefficient, I’ve a hack in mind.

Sure, Twitter can absorb a lot of your time, but what if you could “tune” Twitter to something of importance to you? What if you could get a very narrow beam on information that matters or might prove useful to you? This is a simple hack, but could be helpful to you. Here are the steps:

Building a Tuned Twitter Stream

  1. Determine what you want Twitter to do for you. For my example, let’s build a Twitter account for someone active in the Boston area, perhaps a tech type.
  2. Search out specific-to-Boston Twitter users with Google. For my example, I found Boston weather, a Red Sox play-by-play, and a Boston Area Twitters user.
  3. Add some useful Tech Twitter users. Again, using Google, I found techmeme, Tech Evangelist, Robert Scoble’s link blog (and tons more)
  4. DON’T add friends, family, and other random types.

The same could be done for several industries who’ve adopted Twitter. I note several PR firms and individual PR types on there. Marketers are there in droves. Using useful products like David Troy’s excellent Twittersearch helps you find more of what you’re seeking out, and you can build your fine-tuned Twitter from there, too.

Improve this Idea

Or throw stones at it. Does it make sense? It’s a hack, I’ll admit, but it might be a way to use Twitter in a more targeted way. Your opinions and improvements are greatly appreciated.

Chris Brogan twitters here and blogs at [chrisbrogan.com].

Love this article?