Twitter presents you with a river of news, status updates, and all sorts of other tweets. Following a lot of accounts on Twitter can be overwhelming, especially if you want to follow your favorite websites without missing important personal tweets from your friends. These tips will help you manage the fire hose of incoming tweets without drowning in the sea of incoming content.
Included here are some of Twitter’s own tricks — like Lists and the TweetDeck application owned by Twitter — as well as third-party services and browser extensions that try to help you view your Twitter stream in a smarter way.
Lists – Organize Your Twitter Stream
Rather than following Twitter accounts, you can instead add them to a list. You can view the lists – either on the web or in a Twitter client – and see a list of tweets from all accounts on the list. This makes lists a convenient way of following more Twitter accounts without them cluttering up your main Twitter stream. For example, you could add your favorite websites to a list and unfollow them, freeing up your main stream for personal tweets. You could even use multiple types of lists for different accounts you follow, filtering them into different streams.
To add a Twitter account to a list, click the button on their Twitter profile page and select Add or remove from lists.
You can then access your lists by selecting the Lists option on your profile page. Lists and be public or private – if they’re public, other people can subscribe to your lists. You don’t need to be following an account to have it appear in your lists, so you can unfollow an account after adding it to a list.
TweetDeck – Use Columns, Filters, and Multiple Accounts
Twitter’s TweetDeck is a powerful Twitter client that allows you to sign into multiple Twitter accounts at once. In addition to managing multiple Twitter accounts, TweetDeck allows you to view your timeline, interactions, messages, and activity in columns on a single screen.
However, that’s just the default setup. Any columns can be filtered by content or users. You could add Twitter lists, searches (such as searches for an interesting hashtag) or tweets by a specific user as columns.
TweetDeck might be more overwhelming for a casual Twitter user, but Twitter power users struggling with Twitter’s web interface may find TweetDeck’s added complexity makes their Twitter experience simpler overall.
TweetDeck is owned by Twitter, so it should be safe even as Twitter tries to squeeze third-party Twitter clients out of the Twitter ecosystem. Check out our tips to help you use TweetDeck more effectively and review of TweetDeck for Chrome for more information about TweetDeck.
The Tweeted Times – View Tweets as a Newspaper
Connect The Tweeted Times to your Twitter account and it will create a custom, regularly updated “newspaper” with content from the accounts you follow on Twitter. Rather than a stream of tweets, The Tweeted Times will create a newspaper-like experience for you to read based on the popular stories or accounts you follow and tweet bout.
TwitLamp – Browse Tweets by Type
TwitLamp gives you a new view on your Twitter stream. Connect your Twitter account to TwitLamp and it will allow you to sort your stream by photos, videos, audio, and links. You can also view plain-text tweets or tweets with hashtags. If you want to view a list of the media or links from your Twitter stream, TwitLamp is a neat way to get this information at a glance.
Unfortunately, the free version offers a limited number of refreshes before forcing you to wait 20 minutes to fetch new tweets and TwitLamp tries to push you towards the paid version. If you wanted to use TwitLamp as your main Twitter client, you’d probably be unhappy without the paid version – but if you wanted to use TwitLamp occasionally to sort different types of tweets in your stream, TwitLamp could be a valuable service.
Exclude Tweets You Don’t Care About
If you want to follow someone without seeing all their tweets or you just want to filter out content you don’t care about – perhaps all those sports tweets a friend sends – you can filter out tweets containing specific content or from specific users using a third-party client or even a browser extension. We’ve covered many ways to silence annoying people and filter out tweets you don’t care about.
How do you manage the incoming fire hose of tweets containing news and status updates from your friends? Leave a comment with your favorite tips.