14 Tools of Highly Effective Twitter Users

A collection of the 14 best tools available to help you manage and maximize twitter in alphabetical order!

Follow Cost

Enter a users twitter name:

Follow CostAnd it gives you a rating on how detrimental it will be to follow that user:

Follow CostThe ratings are given in milliscobles, or 1/1000th of Robert Scoble’s twitter output. It also gives an index of what percentage of the user’s tweets are political and what percentage are @replies. More of a fun tool really, but will still give you an accurate idea of how much the user will pollute your feed!

http://followcost.com/

#hashtags

Hashtags are a popular way for twitter users to tweet and keep track of relevant queries in search.twitter.com, #hashtags keeps up with popular hashtag trending topics on twitter.

#hashtagshttp://hashtags.org/

TweetStalk

Ever want to follow someone on twitter, but didn’t want them to know you were following them? Yeah, me niether, but in case you ever did, there’s tweetstalk:

TweetStalkJust download the firefox, install, and stalk away!

http://tweetstalk.com/

TweetStats

Statistics for twitter! TweetStats allows you to see all sorts of statistics from your twitter account like, month to month tweet frequency, daily average tweet density, aggregate hourly tweets, etc.. And, all of this without entering a password to your account, so you can see stats on others as well!

TweetStatsTweetStatshttp://tweetstats.com/

Tweetake

Tweetake is a tool that I think is indispensable for anyone that conducts any sort of business on twitter. It allows you to download and save a copy of your twitter account. Followers, Tweets, DMs, Favorites, you can save them all as a csv download for safekeeping. And if you’re as paranoid as I am about backups, this will be one more thing to add to the list!

Tweetakehttp://tweetake.com/

TweetSuite

TweetSuite is a wordpress plugin that is a continuation of TweetBacks. The new and upgraded version includes automatic tweeting of new posts, most tweeted widget, recently tweeted widget, tweet this button, and several other twitter-tastic features to intergrate into your wordpress blog. It’s the ultimate twitter plugin for wordpress.

TweetSuitehttp://danzarrella.com/beyond-tweetbacks-introducing-tweetsuite.html

Twibs

Twitter business directory. Find businesses on twitter. Nuff said.

Twibshttp://www.twibs.com/

TwiTip: Host Your Own Short URL

TwiTip is a great blog for twitter users, run by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger. In this post Darren writes about how you can host your own short url instead of using a service like tinyurl. I personally perfer to use kl.am but this is not a post on url shortening services!

Host Your Own Short URLhttp://www.twitip.com/how-to-host-your-own-short-urls/

TwitPic

TwitPic is probably a service that you already use, or are at least familiar with. It’s most common use is with cell phones posting pictures to twitter for you. I like it because it also tracks views on each photo, and you can login to TwitPic with your twitter username/pass and see all of the photos you’ve ever posted.

TwitPichttp://twitpic.com/

TwitterBar

Post to your twitter from your firefox address bar! If firefox was my main browser, I’d totally use it.

TwitterBarhttps://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4664

Twittercal

Now this is a great idea, especially for twitter addicts that don’t already have an iphone or a crackberry. Twittercal lets you post events to your google calendar by sending direct messages.

Twittercalhttp://twittercal.com/

TwitterFriends

Yay for friends on twitter! It’s all about the conversation right? TwitterFriends is a neat tool that allows you to look at the conversations you’re having with all sorts of statistics including: @replies recieved/day, links posted/day, retweet quotient, tweets/day, as well as the normal to and from tweet ratios between you and other twitter users.

TwitterFriendsTwitterFriendshttp://twitter-friends.com/

Twitter Grader

Twitter Grader is a twitter ranking tool that grades your profile based on a number of factors and gives you a grade on a scale of 1-100, as well as a global rank in proportion to the rest of users. It is a fun tool that allows you to see just how “elite” your twitter profile is. I have done extensive blogging on this tool here: (1,2,3,4)

Twitter Graderhttp://twitter.grader.com/

Twuffer

Now, I have to say, this is just an awesome name. Out of all the twitter mashup names, this is my favorite. Twuffer (hehe) is a twitter-buffer, that allows you to schedule and post-date tweets. Oh the possibilities!

Twufferhttp://twuffer.com/

I hope you enjoyed the post and found some new tools you can use! Also be sure to check out twitip.com and don’t forget to follow me on twitter! @kennyhyder 😉

5 Reasons Why I Don’t Like Sphinn

Since it’s inception, I’ve thought that Sphinn was kind of ridiculous. Almost like it was created so internet marketers could have a place to promote themselves without worrying about the unfriendly crowds that exist on digg. This is totally unnecessary. Just because SEO news doesn’t do well on digg.com doesn’t mean there needs to be another social media site dedicated to seo and internet marketing! If you’re in internet marketing, it means that you’re at least a little bit narcissistic, and you don’t need a SM site to promote your articles on. If they’re good, they get read, and if they’re not good, and your name is big enough, they get read anyway. But alas, these are the top 5 reasons why I don’t like Sphinn: 

  1. Internet marketers don’t need a central place for internet marketing news – Thats why we’re the marketers! People hire us because we are up to date on what’s new, and what’s not. (and because we’re good at what we do) It’s not like we’re not all reading each other’s blogs and obsessed with what Google’s doing anyway!
  2.  

  3. Search Engine Land needs to open up comments – I can understand if Seth Godin wants to close comments on his blog, whatever dude, thats cool. But I just find it annoying that SEL has comments closed and they want everything to go through Sphinn. I don’t know how many times I would have commented on a post but then didn’t because I’m supposed to go to Sphinn. Open up comments already!
  4.  

  5. Multiple submissions to the same article – I’ve had this happen to me a couple times, where other users submit my post to sphinn at the same time, and it gets posted twice. Then you get 2 listings, and it never goes anywhere because the ‘sphinns’ are divided. This is a basic functionality that needs addressing.
  6.  

  7. Don’t send me sphinn links! – I hate it when im on twitter and someone posts a link to a new post or article, and I think I’m clicking a zi.ma or tinyurl link to the post, and i get taken to sphinn. We’re all marketers here, if you want a sphinn, put a sphinn link at the bottom of the post. I’m not gonna sphinn, or digg, or stumble anything until I actually see it!
  8.  

  9. Lack of content – Besides the fact that anything that hits Sphinn is something that we have all already seen, or commented on, the front page keeps ‘hot’ content up for a week! There are plenty of things being posted daily to have fresh content on the homepage daily. Maybe a new algo needs to be worked out to figure out what makes it hot so that old articles don’t sit on the front page for days on end.

EDIT: Disclaimer: I must say that I do love the content that searchengineland.com puts out, and I think the people that run Sphinn are great. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several of them. 

http://twitter.com/GregBoser/status/1048080262

Twitter Grader Part 4

It has been awhile since I have covered the changes at twitter.grader.com, and I know there was quite a bit of activity while I was aloof.

Shortly after my last post, I was contacted by several friends on twitter that their grades had shot up significantly (mine at one point was up to a 95.8 from a 90) and then shortly after, a quick decline. I speculated that this was all due to more algo updates, which was later confirmed by Dharmesh, the man behind the madness at Twitter Grader. So I decided to let things settle a bit before checking out the next round of updates.

Here are the charts:

Updated:
Recip Grader Followers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous:

Recip Grader Followers

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, pretty much across the board, scores have risen consistently with increases in follower counts, and ratios of followers to following. So if there has been all the constant updating but no changes, what gives? I think its all about the overall rank. This is something that up until this point, I haven’t talked about, but I have noticed that these scored seem to have leveled out quite a bit.

It used to be that there were multiple ties for positions (5 people could be #1) and the scoring didn’t make a whole lot of sense in this arena. But if you take a look at the twitter elite page, we see that there is now a neatly groomed list of the top 100 twitter users. (Quick shout out to recip followers @garyvee and @problogger who are on the list!)
The overall rankings also clearly distinguish the twitter users on my list as well. The duel between martinbowling and oilman is a mere .2 in twitter grade due to martinbowling’s close count of followers, but he is far outshadowed in overall rank with oilman’s overall rank of 615 to his 1,334. There are even significant gaps between users with identical grades, as in the case of chriswinfield vs. davesnyder – 449 to 777 (go buy a lotto ticket dave). 

This overall rank is a good absolute system, in terms of an arbitrary twitter rank, although it still lacks in the department in that it only accounts for profiles that have been submitted to Twitter Grader. Which is why I think users are still going to Twitter “Grade” more. It is more self sufficient. But, I would still like to see some improvements made on this system. Possible things to consider? Retweets & mentions @ search.twitter.com. And for the overall rank, can you start crawling twitter? 😉

People mentioned in this post:

  • Martin Bowling aka @martinbowling
  • Todd Friesen aka @oilman
  • Dave Snyder aka @davesnyder
  • Kate Morris aka @katemorris
  • David Brown aka @NeOBlog
  • Chris Winfield aka @chriswinfield
  • Frank Watson aka @AussieWebmaster
  • Robert Palmer aka @robertpalmer
  • Kenny Hyder aka @kennyhyder
  • Austin Curtis aka @austincurtis
  • PS: If you liked this post, FOLLOW ME 🙂

    Twitter Grader Follows @’s

    Just 2 days ago, I posted about the update to the Twitter Grader algorithm.

    In the post I covered how the algo update now counts follower to following ratios in their scoring and some other cool stuff. I also made a recommendation for the next update: “My recommendation for the next algo update? Figure out a way to incorporate user interaction (@’s, retweets, replys) After all, it’s all about the conversation ;)”

    Later that night, I received yet another comment from Dharmesh Shah, the developer behind the Twitter Grader algo. He said:

    Thanks for the second round of thoughtful analysis.

    The algorithm was indeed updated this weekend (and I think it’s “better”).
    Quick note: We have 200,000+ unique profiles that have been graded. In a way, this is good, but the flip side is that it takes some time to “normalize” the database of grades. We’ve got significant server resources powering the software, but I tend to “trickle-in” the recalculations. That’s a long-winded way of saying: It’s going to take some time for the actual grades to completely reflect the updated algorithm.

    Making progress (I think). The point about tracking retweets and the “quality” of conversations for a given user profile is a really good one. I’ve been thinking about that one and will try to incorporate something like this in a future update.

    Cheers,
    Dharmesh

    Well, it looks like the future update came sooner than expected! 2 days is a pretty good turn-around time if you ask me! Today, lots of users are noticing a boost in their Twitter grade because of what I believe to be an incorporation into the algo of user-interaction.

    Here are a few things to look at:

    Just for good measure, here are the charts, even though they are of less significance this round..

    Updated Chart:

    Recip Grader Followers

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    And the Previous Chart:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Now, take a look at martinbowling, katemorris, and neoblog. All of these users saw somewhat significant jumps in their grades, without significant increases in followers or other activity in updates or following numbers over the past 2 days.

    BUT, take a look at these screenshots: (click for popup) martinbowling katemorris neoblog

    All of these users have a high volume of incoming @’s, part of the user-interaction recommendation that Dharmesh said would be incorporated!

    But there’s more.. I also checked @garyvee‘s score, who I have been monitoring over the past few months. He has 18,352 followers, follows 2,134, and 3,306 updates. The past couple months his score has varied from 99.9 to 100.1. But is notorious for not replying to incoming @’s that he receives. Today, after the update, his score is down to a 99.7. Consistent with this trend is @chriswinfield, who also saw a slight drop in score today. Chris and I actually know each other apart from twitter, and he’s a great guy.. But, he gets a TON of @’s because of all of the twitter polls and questions that he does, but doesn’t @ back at nearly the volume that he gets them in. (sorry chris ;))

    This leads me to believe that Twitter Grader has incorporated in an update to their algorithm that accounts for incoming and outgoing @’s on your twitter account, like I had mentioned in my last post.

    If you find this to be true, leave a comment so I can check out your profile! And remember tweeps, its all about the conversation!

    Twitter Grader Part 2

    Over the weekend, everyone who is an avid follower of Twitter Grader, noticed a significant change in the algorithm. In my original post I talked about what I noticed to influence the algorithm for twitter grader most heavily. I was quite surprised to see a comment from Dharmesh Shah, the developer for twitter.grader.com, who apparently read my post and said “it’ll be interesting to reconduct the analysis once we go into beta”.

    Well, I don’t know if they’re quite in beta yet, but I know that my grade was at a 90 over the weekend, and now its at an 84! So there’s got to be a reason! Here’s what I think…

    You will all remember my friend grouping from the last post? Here they are with updated numbers:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These numbers are all as of this morning 11-3, between 11:15 & 11:30 PST.

    And just for reference, here is the original list from the last post:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    So to start, we can see that there has been quite a bit of variation on the user accounts and on the scoring for almost all users. At the top end, we now have multiple users in the 99th percentile, with several other close to follow. And at the bottom end, scores went from being in the high 50’s – low 60’s to now being high seventies to low to mid 80’s. This is obviously just a result of the user group being an extremely active sampling from twitter. Scores are bound to go up. 😉

    But, there are a few things to note that I think are interesting. For example, take a look at davesnyder, his following count went down, follower count went up, and he saw a significant grade change after the algorithm update. 🙂 -> Clue #1

    Clue #2: AussieWebmaster, interestingly enough, saw NO ACTIVITY on his account except for an increase in followers (can you tell me how you did that?), and sees a grade change of almost a full 2 points!

    What does this sound like? It sounds like @onstartups read my post and implemented some changes! LOL! Which is good, I think that follower to following ratios should count toward their ranking system, which it clearly didn’t before.

    BUT, thats not to say that what I had discovered previously with the update ratios isn’t still part of the algo..

    If you take a look at martinbowling, with the most updates @ 10,862, he is up on followers & following less people, but only saw a grade jump of .9. Martinbowling was also a sufferer from the algo update, he was previously in the 99 point range until the update. (Sorry Buddy!) Compare him to oilman, who saw a similar rise in updates and followers, but is following more people, whereas martinbowling is following less, and oilman saw more than a 1 point gain in ranking. (FYI – before the algo update, oilman and martinbowling were .1 apart in score)

    The only evidence I can take away from this, is that the update ratio still plays, although less significant than before. And now we also see the incorporation of a following to follower ratio.

    I see this as good progress for twitter grader. My recommendation for the next algo update? Figure out a way to incorporate user interaction (@’s, retweets, replys) After all, it’s all about the conversation 😉

    People mentioned in this post:

  • Martin Bowling aka @martinbowling
  • Todd Friesen aka @oilman
  • Dave Snyder aka @davesnyder
  • Kate Morris aka @katemorris
  • David Brown aka @NeOBlog
  • Chris Winfield aka @chriswinfield
  • Frank Watson aka @AussieWebmaster
  • Robert Palmer aka @robertpalmer
  • Kenny Hyder aka @kennyhyder
  • Austin Curtis aka @austincurtis
  • The 70+ Parts of the Twitter Grader Algorithm

    By now, most of the hyper-active twitter users are aware of the twitter profile ranking tool twitter.grader.com. Some of us even check it daily. (Just messin with you)

    It “grades” your twitter profile on a scale of 100 based on:

  • The number of followers you have
  • The power of this network of followers
  • The pace of your updates
  • The completeness of your profile
  • …a few others
  • At least that’s what they tell you 😉 Of course, I wanted to know how it really worked. Here’s what I’ve found so far.

    Here is a graph of me and some of my reciprocal followers sorted by number of updates:
    Reciprocal Followers

    These numbers are as of this morning, 10-20 between 9:00 – 9:15 AM PST. As you can see, the first 7 on the list are all extremely active users, with significant followings. Their scores vary from 94 – 98.9. I decided not to include anyone with a 100 score in my study, because those users tend to have such large follower numbers, that the results I feel, would be skewed. The last 3 on the list are users, including myself, with scores in the middle range, varying from 57 – 63. Follower counts for these users are all under 100.

    Now, there is obviously a correlation between number of followers and twitter score. I would liken this to number of quality inbound links to a website, and page rank. But there are some things to take note of.

    I first thought that it would correlate that the ratio of followers to people you follow should significantly affect your score. But, as you can see with NeOBlog, this is not the case. He is following more than 2 times the amount of people that are following him, yet his score remains at the top with a 97.5, and continues to climb. Whereas chriswinfield, on the other hand, has over 6 times as many followers than he is following, and only maintains a mere 1.4 score lead. We see a similar case with the epic duel of martinbowling vs. oilman. Martinbowling only maintains a 1.6/1 ratio of followers/following whilst oilman has a stunning 4/1 ratio yet only leads by a .6 points on twitter grader. So I had to abandon this logic.

    I next decided to look into quality of the network of followers. For this I more closely examined the last 3 on the list, because the first 7 have many overlaps in networks. Robertpalmer, kennyhyder, and austincurtis all have similar follower numbers with few overlaps. This was an interesting study, and one that is hard to not be biased on! 😉 I’m an SEO and followed by mainly the SEO and internet marketing community. Austincurtis is a professional photographer and designer, and mainly followed by other professional photographers. And robertpalmer is an author at www.tuaw.com and a graphic designer, and mostly followed by other bloggers and designers. Because both Austin and Robert were personal friends of mine before I knew them professionally, and I can’t just say “my following is better” I decided to look at the numbers. Without going too deep, I decided to look at the number of followers for each user, who have a follower count above 1000. The score? robertpalmer: 14, austincurtis: 5, kennyhyder: 14. With the robertpalmer and my count tied, and austincurtis at a significantly lower count, yet all 3 users still so close, I decided to play around a bit. So I went and blocked all of the spammy users who were following me at the moment. (no picture, following 1000 but only 5 followers, etc..) The result? MY SCORE DROPPED! I laughed, obviously twitter grader doesn’t consider the quality of the accounts following you.

    After this, I decided to follow @grader, based on the “…a few other things” line, and the fact that every time I checked my score, at the bottom it said “kennyhyder is not following @grader yet”. I thought this may do 2 things. 1. Possibly boost my score a point & 2. I thought it would help with the frequency of crawl rate on my profile.. It did neither.

    I was starting to think that the algorithm was simply nothing except how many followers you have. The last thing I had to try was the “pace of your updates”. So I started tweeting like mad. I started tweeting @ people, tweeting when I posted on my blog, tweeting when I was playing poker, tweeting everything.. And soon, the big lead that I once had on austincurtis turned into a small lead. And soon, into his lead. I dominated him on tweets, and even lead on followers, and was following less people, but his score popped up. And then I saw something new, “What about your follower to update ratio?”

    So to test this, (and get back my lead on austincurtis) I started following new friends. My following count surpassed my follower count, yes, but we already determined that this doesn’t matter. I followed more and more tweeps, and picked up followers along the way. I did this on fridays because I don’t tend to spend much time on twitter over the weekends, so my follower count would grow, and my update count would stay the same. This worked. In further testing, I would tweet a lot without adding friends, and my score would dip. Aha! This is the supplement to main piece of the algorithm. This is the “content is king” piece!

    So obviously, the more followers you have, the better your score will be, but it is nice to see (at least for an seo) that this isn’t the only thing taken into consideration!

    People mentioned in this post:

  • Martin Bowling aka @martinbowling
  • Todd Friesen aka @oilman
  • Dave Snyder aka @davesnyder
  • Kate Morris aka @katemorris
  • David Brown aka @NeOBlog
  • Chris Winfield aka @chriswinfield
  • Frank Watson aka @AussieWebmaster
  • Robert Palmer aka @robertpalmer
  • Kenny Hyder aka @kennyhyder
  • Austin Curtis aka @austincurtis
  • PS: If you liked this post, FOLLOW ME 🙂, and then check out this one by David Brown.

    Reciprocal Twitter Exchange?

    C’mon, you knew it was gonna happen sooner or later!

    Yes, that’s right folks a reciprocal twitter follow exchange.

    It actually made me laugh at how blatant it was. The best part is, there’s no Matt Cutt’s of Twitter to shake a finger at it yet!

    I have come across a few tweeps that have tried to get follows by saying that they will follow back (I didn’t oblige), which is one thing.. That’s ALMOST organic and social… But this is a different thing altogether, maybe @ev can shut off the twitter-juice on people that participate in such programs like he turned off the link juice on profile links when @mattcutts whined.

    Silly Tweeps!

    If you know of more recip twitter follow exchanges, post a link in the comments so we can rid our twitter-verse of such scandalous activity!

    del.icio.us changes to delicious.com?

    I just now noticed that del.icio.us redirects to delicious.com…

    I personally always liked the .us url, I thought it was clever and unique. But, I can definitely see how it may confuse some users, and I know that I always had to spell it out for friends that weren’t familiar with the site. Yet, delicious.com used to redirect to del.icio.us, so the usability issue for type in traffic shouldn’t have been a big problem. Which would leave me at a branding debate, and I think this one is simply a matter of opinion. .com’s are obviously much more recognizable buy a much broader audience, but on the same note, delicious’s userbase tends to be pretty web savvy.

    Sooo… wtf mate? Why did delicious make the switch to .com?

    Thoughts?

    UPDATE: Apparently delicious made this change back in July with the 2.0 version, I just didn’t notice till now because my browser is still cached with del.icio.us! My question still stands though: wtf?