Twitter has evolved into an amazing social network for instantly sharing what is happening around the world. At its best, it’s a worldwide public forum of social chatter, news, memes, trending topics, and celebrity gossip. At its worst, it’s a constant stream of spam, links, and mindless trivia. I personally enjoy Twitter the most when I engage in a good conversation – a few back and forth tweets with my contacts. That’s what Twitter needs more of.
Most avid Twitter users know how useful the network can be for following national and international events, like the Olympics, recently published articles from sites like MUO, or for following the outcomes of tragedies like the shootings in Aurora and most recently, the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. But Twitter is also a great place to hold interesting conversations and debates. That’s where a new service, called Conweets, and the Conversation feature in Tweetbot come in.
How They Work
Conweets is a conversation finder for Twitter exchanges. You can select or type in the name of a Twitter user, and Conweets will present a list of conversations that the user has had with other Twitter users. Below is a screenshot of mine. Every so often, I post a link or tweet, usually on a controversial social or economic issue, and one of my contacts will engage me.
Tweetbot, I recently learned, also includes a Conversation feature that presents one or more Twitter exchanges you’ve had with a contact. It actually allows you to favorite and save a link to selected conversations.
Conweets can track public conversations between Twitter users. When you register with the site, it presents a list of people you follow. You can select a name on that list and it will do a search of the Twitter users that person is talking to. Or it can search specific conversations between two handles that you enter in the search fields.
The list of conversations include the number of mentions between two handlers, and how long ago the conversation was posted. Most exchanges will probably consist of one or two mentions, while those with 10 or more mentions most likely indicate a conversation. A number of people I follow on my list are very opinionated, so it’s interesting to see some of their conversations.
Conweets is a work in progress. While its design features are a great improvement over past services like it, conducting searches can be a little annoying. For example, there doesn’t seem to be a way to navigate back to the list of conversation results for a handler. After you click one conversation, you need to run the search again to get back to the list. Also, it would be great if the conversations could be presented in descending order, starting with the last tweet first.
And while you can bookmark a conversation, you can’t save an exchange to PDF from your web browser. These are probably significant challenges for the developers, and I’m sure they are working on ways to improve the site.
Conversations On Tweetbot
If you’re a Twitter user who actually talks to some of your contacts instead of simply posting links, you might want to check the Twitter client, Tweetbot, for both Mac and iOS. It contains a feature that allows you to view Twitter exchanges you’ve had with other users.
In the Mac version of the app, you need to click on the cogwheel of a tweet that’s a part of an exchange and select “View Conversation” from the drop-down selection. To get the full exchange, click on the last tweet that was a part of the exchange.
You can find this Conversation feature also on the iOS version of Tweetbot. It includes one additional feature that enables you to save and archive a conversation. In the Tweetbot app, you slide a tweet to the right and the associated conversation will appear. Or you can tap on the tweet, and then tap on the cogwheel to tap “View Conversation.”
The additional useful feature in Tweetbot is that you can actually click on the Share button on the upper-right of the exchange, and tap either Email or Tweet this Conversation. You can email the exchange which appears in chronological order in the mail message.
If you choose “Tweet this Conversation,” the conversation will be formatted to appear on a site called Storify, and you will get a link for that post. Here’s an example. This feature doesn’t seem to be apart of the desktop client yet.
For a few other ways to track Twitter conversations, check David’s 2009 article, 3 Sites for Following Conversations on Twitter.
Let us know about your Twitter experiences. Do you frequently hold conversations in your Twitter stream? Do Twitter conversations annoy you, or do you welcome them?