Our Top 10 Twitter Tools

Unfollowing: It's what's for dinner.
Well, not really. But getting a more targeted Twitter following is all the rage right now as social media enthusiasts become less enthused about having thousands of un-engaged followers. There are literally hundreds of tools designed to help you navigate Twitter and measure your success at getting in touch with the right people. But let’s take a look at just 10 free Twitter tools that could streamline your Twitter stream and keep you from swimming against the current.

1) If you don’t mind having your Twitter habits analyzed, MrTweet could help you build a valuable following rather quickly. It recommends people for you to follow based on your network and recommends you to other people. In addition, it collects statistics about the frequency and popularity of your “tweets.”

2) Do you want to find out what other Twitterers in your network are doing or talking about in real time? Sure, you could scroll through various user accounts or do a search by topic LIKE... A... NOOB. But, the more efficient way is to use a Twitter client that keeps track of search terms and functions as a dashboard. TweetDeck presents your Twitter account as a personal browser. It shows all of the people in your network, conversations going on between them, and replies to your messages. You can even respond to tweets right from TweetDeck, without opening another window for Twitter.

3) Twhirl also tracks Twitter conversations about you or any topic you’re interested in, but it doesn’t take over your entire computer screen. While TweetDeck helps you to listen to what’s being said, Twhirl makes it even easier to get in on the conversation. For example, it sends your tweets to ping.fm which redistributes those messages to other social networking services like Facebook, Friendfeed, and Seesmic.

4) Everyone wants to create posts that “go viral”. That’s one reason why tracking URLs is a huge part of social media networking, particularly when you have a message to promote. Twitt(URL)y not only tracks the Web addresses people are tweeting in real time, but ranks them according to popularity. You can even create a Twitt(URL)y profile that will allow the service to track the URLs in their tweets and measure the popularity of each one.

5) If you don’t necessarily need your URL-tracking in real time, Tweetmeme can provide much of the functionality of Twitt(URL)y in a bright, more user-friendly format. It tracks the most popular URLs on Twitter in five-minute intervals, and lays them out as stories.

6) Want to manage your reputation online? Tweetbeep is one reliable way to track any mention of your name, your competitor’s name or the name of a product. It’s like Google alerts for Twitter, in that it gives hourly updates through e-mail alerts. It also goes a step further in allowing you to expand your brand by putting out feelers for projects and networking opportunities.

7) Eventually, you’ll need to find out if you’re doing enough to engage your followers on Twitter. This will require some metrics, but many of the best tools are free and readily available. Twitterless, for example, will notify you when someone stops following you. In addition, it will graph out your follower history on Twitter to help you find out why you’re gaining or losing followers.

8) By now, social media enthusiasts realize that quality trumps quantity when it comes to followers. A good following is made up of people who communicate frequently and remain engaged. If you need a little more information about the people who are responding to you and your message, you might want to consider the statistics tool TwitterFriends. It shows you how many people you interact with and identifies the valuable people with whom you have the most conversations.

9) A location-based Twitter service like NearbyTweets is a must for anyone interested in planning offline events or targeting users by geography. It can group followers by location, help to initiate relevant group discussions, and monitor local buzz about a company or product.

10) Finally, now that your Twitter account is clicking along, let's take this show on the road with Twitter mobile tools. Depending on your device, Twitterific, Twitterberry, Twitterfon, Tweetie, and UberTwitter will allow you to keep up with what’s happening on Twitter through your cell phone or Blackberry even when you’re not in front of a computer.

Here's the most important part of this post: What Twitter tools are you using right now? Do you like the way they work or do you wish there was something better? Which ones have you been thinking about trying?

Corvida: Professional. Blogger.

Some people are good bloggers, some are extremely tech-savvy, and others are social networkers. Still others manage to do it all with stunning ease. Corvida has the know-how to get your Web property going, drop tips on increasing your reach through social networking, and then package it all so that you can take it on the road via your iPhone. People who say the phrase "professional blogger" is an oxymoron just haven't met the right individuals.

In her early twenties, Corvida has already been called one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Magazine. She's the editor of the Mr. Tweet blog, as well as the co-founder of both EverythingTwitter.com and The SocialGeeks Roundtable Podcast. She has also worked her magic for ReadWriteWeb, The Industry Standard, TechCrunch, and Mashable .

What's refreshing is that Corvida doesn't let her connections determine her direction. She still gets genuinely excited by finding an inspiring bit of technology. But she expresses other emotions - like burnout - stemming from the pressure to keep up with all things 2.0. Despite blanket advice about how often bloggers should publish, Corvida recently made the decision to post only when she had something interesting to say- and it's working for her. We couldn't find one useless piece of drivel anywhere on her site or Twitter. The lessons we take away from this young sister? Do your own thing and do what you love.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/corvida

Blog: http://shegeeks.net/

Podcast: http://thesocialgeeks.com/

MoutonNoirWines: Urban Flavor By The Glass

Real quick. How many winemakers have street teams in New York City? Suffice it to say, not very many and maybe only one. But, as far as we can tell, there aren't many wine hustlers like MoutonNoirWines - also known as Andre Mack. He gets the word out about his "distinctive garage wines" in ways that are unique to young urban entrepreneurs.
First some background: Mack first became interested in wine while working in the restaurant trade. Just a few short years later, he had worked his way up to head sommelier at a four-star restaurant in New York and he eventually became the first African-American to be named “Best Young Sommelier” by Chaine des Rotisseurs. He founded Mouton Noir Wines in 2004 and began selling his bottles to popular restaurants.

Today, he’s often featured in publications such as Black Enterprise and Food & Wine Magazine. He drums up street level support through wine-tastings, Mouton Noir paraphernalia, a street promotions and the internet. In a relatively short amount of time, he has been building up an army of wine-lovers on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. Mack not only does a bang up job of promoting his own wines, he's also willing to talk about other people's beverages - including beer!- and even a little history about wine-making. Looking for the perfect bottle to accompany the perfect meal? It's worth sending him a tweet to see if he can spare some time for a recommendation. Just tell him the BlackTwitterati sent ya.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MoutonNoirWines

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mouton-Noir-Wines/

Blog: http://www.moutonnoirwines.net/blog/

PumpsAndGloss: Keeps It Popping

It's a joy to see people using social networking and having a good time doing it. PumpsAndGloss does a great job of keeping the "social" part in the equation. Despite being a busy mom, wife and beauty blogger, she maintains meaningful connections and engages followers on a daily basis. It's no wonder she's a favorite on Twitter's "follow Fridays". Many of us have to work at building a rapport that allows us to promote our interests while remaining human. But for PumpsAndGloss, it appears to come naturally. Her blog is a very entertaining mix of beauty tips and personal experience. Like all engaging bloggers she isn't afraid to put herself out there, use herself as a guinea pig and then take pictures of it all. But don't be surprised to find her throwing current events, faith and sex into the mix as well. Drop her a tweet and you'll see what we mean.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PumpsAndGloss

Blog: http://pumpsandgloss.com/

Classic Hip Hop on Twitter: Rebirth of Click?

Speaking of music...
It's no longer a mystery what your favorite old school/classic/golden age hip-hop idol is up to. There's a very good chance he or she is on the Twitters. Normally studying music celebrities on Twitter isn't usually very helpful for regular folks who don't have "real world" fame. But something very interesting is happening right now in the way these rap pioneers use social media to connect with fans and each other. What we're finding out is that most of them are still on the scene in one way or another, and many of them are still making good music. Find out for yourselves. Below is a list of the classic hip-hop stars (and we did stretch this a bit to include some interesting folks) who have been active recently on Twitter. After thorough investigation, we're pretty sure the following tweeps are the real deal (we left off the ones we weren't sure about):


Could be him:

Anyone we accidentally left off? Let us know in comments and we'll kick them up on the list.
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