Refining Twitter: how to filter out (or search for) tweets by specific keywords — using Tweetdeck

Using Tweetdeck, you can hide tweets if they contain words you specify — and, conversely, set up filters like a search, to show only tweets showing specific keywords. There are two main ways of doing this and, on the day of the iPad2 goes on sale in the UK, I’m using ‘iPad’ as the keyword to filter out or (Apple fans, please note) search for.

Filter out anything you don’t want to see from Twitter

One way is to set a filter to affect everything in Tweetdeck; this applies to all columns and accounts. In the settings, look for the Global Filter menu — and type in the relevant word(s). You can also filter out tweets by people and source. Farewell those unwanted updates from Foursquare or, perhaps.

To filter out tweets from all columns/accounts, use the Global Filter

To filter out tweets from all columns/accounts, use the Global Filter

The other, more selective way is to apply a filter to a chosen column — which you can also use as a ‘positive’ filter to show only tweets as specified.

Filter columns for specific words in Twitter

Look for the row of icons at the foot of the column you wish to filter or search, and click on the filter icon (an arrow curving down to a line). Using the default settings that then appear, you can type in a word or other text to exclude. To remove a filter, click the ‘x’ to the right.

Use the column filter to hide tweets

Use the filter to hide tweets containing specific words

Use column filters to find relevant tweets

Finally, the small drop-down menus in a column filter also allow you to search for tweets containing specific words or other text — simply change the minus sign to a plus. This ‘positive filter’ can be a useful shortcut, eg to hunt down a tweet you glimpsed and need to find again, or quickly to show particular tweets or only those with links (filter for ‘http’).

Use a column filter to show only specific tweets

Use a column filter to show only specific tweets

You can also filter by name, source or time of tweets instead of text. The column filter provides additional flexibility when used with a search column, eg to remove (old-style) retweets from a search on a particular hashtag (filter out ‘RT @’).

How one reporter used Twitter to help with sources

Daniel Victor provides a detailed account, ending with three key points for journalists to note:

1) If I were sitting in my cubicle thinking, “Who could help me with this story?”, none of the five people would have immediately popped into my mind, and I certainly wouldn’t have met them outside of Twitter since this story wasn’t on my beat. This is the power of Twitter for reporting: You can find help in unexpected places, from people you wouldn’t normally have access to.

2) But it only paid off because I’ve taken the time to build a useful local network. I’ve counted 415 Twitter users I follow in the Harrisburg area, though I suspect I follow more who I’ve neglected to add to the list. Every one of them could prove valuable in a pinch — we just never know when it’ll be.

3) You’ll notice Twitter didn’t replace fundamental reporting, it just facilitated it. I still needed to persist and call the chairman three separate times before I got the source on the phone.

Read more here [link]

How social networks can help save media (Jim Brady, True/Slant)

Social networks have created an under-exploited advantage for media companies, suggests Jim Brady:

"…news consumption has now become seamlessly blended into the daily lives of so many consumers. Twenty years ago, if you wanted to read the newspaper, you completely dedicated yourself to it at the breakfast table or dinner table or den for some fixed period of time. When you were done, you went off to work, paid bills or went shopping, and news wasn’t a part of the equation.[…]

Now, think about media consumption in the social media era. Today, content from media companies lives in the same stream as so much other information in a consumer’s life. […] Now, if you’re using e-mail, Facebook or Twitter — three pretty big chunks of time for most Web-savvy consumers — you can, at any moment, be pulled back into news and information. This is a massive opportunity, and one that requires news organizations become fuller participants in those venues."

Read more here [link]

An editor reflects on her use of Twitter

"Cara Ellen Modisett, editor of Blue Ridge Country, tweets. With two Twitter accounts for business and one for personal use, she tweets with purpose and with creativity.

“The basis of Twitter is conversation,” says Modisett. “Each individual Twitter account has its own voice. When I tweet as an editor, it's more about relationships; when tweeting about the magazine, it's to promote the content of the magazine. I find my instantaneous voice on the web.”

Twitter also serves as her reporter's notebook. “My tweets become my notes. I go back to my Twitter feed to put the story together. Sometimes a tweet becomes a kernel of an idea which can lead to something larger creatively and journalistically.” Recently, Modisett tweeted events and observations live during the Virginia Press Women's conference."

Interesting discussion about professional branding online follows in the comments on the post on Handshake 2.0.

Read more here [link]

A twitterable Twitter policy (Gruntled Employees)

Jay Shepherd’s commonsense approach to corporate policy for use of social media. Includes 140-character policy for Twitter:
“I generally advocate a simpler approach that involves treating employees as grown-ups who have judgment. See, for example, “A two-word corporate blogging policy” and “The world’s shortest employee handbook.”

With that said, here is my take at a corporate Twitter policy that has the extra added benefit of being itself twitterable:

Our Twitter policy: Be professional, kind, discreet, authentic. Represent us well. Remember that you can’t control it once you hit ‘update.’ ”

Read more here [link]

Covering the London Marathon using social media: 5 lessons learned :: Kate Day

Kate Day reflects on her experience — perhaps the most important point is: "Let the story choose the medium rather than worrying about playing with all the toys available to you."

So armed with my camera, three lenses, a laptop and an iPhone, I decided to see what it was like using social media to cover a live event. In fact, the process began a few days before the race. I knew my starting point would be great photos. So I asked my followers on Twitter where I should shoot from. They duly came back with ideas and one of them asked if I could send small pictures of each location out in my Twitter stream.

I began to see Twitter as a kind of glue that held the various pieces of coverage together, a way of giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it was like to be there photographing the event.

Read more here [link]

News Industry on Twitter: Full of Crazies, Not Reliable – O'Reilly Broadcast

If you want an example of the success of Twitter as a mechanism for distributing authoritative information about the Swine Flu, look at the rapid growth in the subscriber numbers for the @CDCemergency account. The @CDCemergency twitter account users have been able to get notifications about conference calls and direct communications from the federal agency tasked with monitoring and reacting to the crisis. The fact that the followers for @CDCemergency went form ~2,600 on Wednesday to ~28,000 should tell you that people are making a rational decision to pay attention to trusted sources.

Contrary to Morozov and Slattery, I believe that Twitter is one of the most essential weapons that government has to get timely information to the general population in this crisis. As with all human discourse be it written, spoken, or "texted", the medium has its imperfections.

Read more here [link]