HOW TO: Use Twitter as a Knowledge Filter Using Social Breadcrumbs and Lists

By | Google+ , November 18th, 2009 in Social Media | 1 comment
Twitter lists

Filtering awesomeness from non-awesomeness has never been easier. Just use social breadcrumbs.

There are tens of thousands of new blog posts created every day

Holy sh** Batman that’s a lot of information, I hope you have a “content filter” clipped to your utility belt.

Never fear. With a little networking legwork, a content sniffer dog and Twitter lists, you can create your very own personal recommendation engine.

There are many methods for dealing with the wealth of information zipping round the web, RSS readers being one of the better methods. But you still need a way to find the best content before subscribing to it.

Let Social Breadcrumbs Lead You Through The Network

Your search for quality content begins with the use of Social Breadcrumbs – the trail of awesomeness created via Trust Networks. I’m calling them social breadcrumbs due to the process of stepping through the Twitter forest, following tasty 140-character clues on your way to the edible house that is personalized and trusted commentary.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a Twitter List. Pick a subject that you are passionate about (for us it might be landing pages) and create a new Twitter List with that name.
  2. Pick your most trusted source of golden Tweetage. Add this person to your new list.
  3. Add people from their network. Chances are that the person you trust the most follows other like minded souls, so browsing through some of their “following” list will uncover people worth adding to your new list. This involves a bit of effort as you only see the latest Tweet by each which means you’ll miss some good ones, or could be fooled by charlatans. If you have time click through to the time-lines of the best ones. Look for people who mix recommended content with meaningful original thought.
  4. Spider outwards. You can repeat this process, by crawling the following lists of each new connection you find.
  5. Leverage social shortcuts – HIGHLY recommended. A secondary benefit of Twitter Lists is that you can get a head start on your search by simply latching on to your trusted sources’ own lists. You could follow the entire list as a group, but to add your own personal preference watch the lists time-line for a while (and click back in time) to find those Tweeters most relevant to your new list.
  6. Use #hashtags to find conversations. Enter #searchterm into that little search box on Twitter to see who is saying something smart and use them as a new breadcrumb seed.
  7. Use that old dinosaur called Google. This could be inserted at the start of the process if you didn’t have a favourite Twitter’er already. Do some searches on relevant topics to discover articles and hence blogs and authors that are covering your subject matter. Look for their Twitter id’s and add them to your new list.
  8. ROCK. RINSE. REPEAT. Play some banging tunes while you rock out in Twitterland. It’s more fun that way.

Let Your Filter Shower You With Golden Content Goodness!

Now that you have an uber list targeted to one of your interests you can use this as your de facto Twitter homepage and lo and behold – you now have your own personal taste maker study group, happily filtering the internet for the things you care about.

Why is this so awesome? Because the subjects and their subject matter are people that you – and the network – trust. As they say in advertising, word of mouth is the most powerful sales tool you possess.

By using Twitter lists and the simple process of following Social Breadcrumbs, you have a brand new stream of opinionated and filtered content.

Beautiful.

Pay It Forward

Create Epic Lists and Share Them

Creating targeted and trusted lists can help others like you to connect to the best content. So keep your lists public and maybe even Tweet about them to let people know they exist.

Oli Gardner

About The Author

Photo of Oli Gardner

Co-Founder of Unbounce. Oli has seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet. He is an opinionated writer and international speaker on Conversion Centered Design. You should follow Oli on Twitter
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Comments

  1. Never have I appreciated a service like this more. With the millions of Twitter users tweeting furiously about all topics I can think about, I need a way to filter the noise and get what I want to know. So far, I have been impressed with Social Breakcrumbs and its ability to serve me the most useful information.

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