Friday, March 20, 2009

Twitter Favorites – Part II

As a follow on to my blog post about Twitter Favorites and Saving it for Later I had some great comments, tweets, and e-mails that really got me thinking.

In particular I received a comment from Damon Cortesi. Damon is the author of several really slick tools for Twitter – including TweetStats, TweepSearch, and My First Follow.

image image image

Damon had done some research that showed that as Twitter Follower count INCREASED the use of the Twitter Favorite option DECREASED. This is documented on his blog in this post - 10 Crazy Favoriting Twitter Users

This felt backwards to me. It seems to me that as the number of people followed increases that there would be a corresponding INCREASE in the number of Tweets Saved for Later. After ruminating on this for a bit I realized it does make sense. The answer is --- Twitter users don’t know what to do with Twitter Favorites.

Twitter Favorites Power Users – My Open Request to you

If you are a Power User of Twitter Favorites I want to hear from you. From my questions in my previous blog post Saving it for Later


If you use Twitter Favorites:

  • Do you ever UN-Favorite those tweets once you’ve read them?
  • Do you send them on as a Retweet – even though it might be hours or days old?

If you don’t use Twitter Favorites:

  • What do you use to capture great tweets that you want to review later?

My Predictionimage

Twitter Favorites will become what bookmarks are to browsers

The name and the way they are used will likely change, but the concept of "Saving it for Later" will expand and gain popularity as more users start to tap into the power of Twitter.

The irony is ... as Twitter grows the need for a way to save Tweets will grow. As will the need to categorize, sort, search, and prioritize Followers, Fans, Tweets, and Favorites.

What’s Next?

imageToday Twitter Favorites are public information. I think there is a  great opportunity to create a few new applications - one of which is  a "profiler" tool based on what people select as their Twitter Favorites.

I think this can be used in several ways --- one example is for the common good to help-people-to-help-themselves by finding other Twitter users that match their search criterion. A profiler could help people codify their own thinking and as suggested below could form the foundation for a powerful search component that adds relevance and context to the Twitter experience.

image This is a lot like using TweepSearch by @dacort (Damon Cortesi) to Search Twitter Profiles. If you have not tried TweepSearch you should check it out.

This same profiling technology could also be used to help others find them and perhaps to use more Advanced Search Technologies to dig deeper into what people select as Favorites.

To me this is all goodness and fits right in with my premise that Search is the KEY to EVERYTHING. Advanced Search will drive the next wave of innovation (across every technology including <start acronym soup> - ECM, BI, PLM, SCM, CRM, BPM, WF, and many others <end acronym soup>). The smart companies are making bets on search today.

imageFinal Straw?: There will come a time where people will want  (probably demand) a way to make their Twitter Favorites private to prevent this type of searching. The corollary of which is that people have the option of making (some) of their bookmarks public - the key word here is SOME of their bookmarks (see Delicious, et al).

It will be interesting to see how Twitter and all the Twitter API jockeys mold and morph to define the ever expanding growth of Twitter. I know I will be an active participant and hopefully somewhat of an influencer too. I’ll be watching and commenting on the expanding role Social Media plays both with consumers with companies that seek to serve them.

With that said --- How can I help?

clip_image002 About The Author:
I have spent the better part of the last 16 years working in various aspects of the ECM space. I spent time at
Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and most recently Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text in Nov 2008). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Creative Commons License

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chrisg said...

great great great (did i say great?) entry. The more i look into twitter the more i want to know and am looking for new tips and tricks. Getting feedback from others is so crucial and i dont see it enough. Good to see it is still happening

greg said...

Have you looked into FAVRD at all? I did a writeup on this today and it fits into your use of Favorites on Twitter. Just thought I'd share:

Will said...

Great question! For a long time, I used favorites as "stars"--essentially, things I wanted to go back to read. I would then unfavor them as I read them. Then, though, someone noticed and felt slighted. Not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, I now leave the Tweets favored and, if I want to keep them for reference or read them later, I mainly send them to @myen (Evernote).