Social Media Tools – A catalog of useful web links
Click on the tool name to visit the site. I hope you find this collection useful, please send details of other tools you discover to @VeridianSM or @drwarwick. At the moment, we are a little heavy on Twitter resources, and will add other social media tools over time. Current tool count is 34.
THE HEAVY WEIGHTS – PRINCIPAL DOMAINS
Twitter – The definitive micro-blogging service with almost 100 million users (as at October 2009) – although not the only entry point, as you can see from the volume of tools and links below. Teaching the world how to express themselves in 140 characters.
ANALYZING SOCIAL MEDIA – FREE AND MULTI-PLATFORM
Social Mention – “Searching content across the universe …” this is a powerful and feature-rich online search tool. A must for checking on what is being said on Twitter, blogs, Facebook, Bing and almost anywhere online. Provides summarized scores of strength, sentiment, passion, reach and volume. If you are going to meet a new client, or talk about a particular topic, look it up here to make sure your finger is on the pulse. As good as many of the paid-service analysis tools. Highly recommended!
Addict-o-matic – create and bookmark a ‘buzz’ page on any brand or topic. Includes feeds from blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Ask, Flickr and many others. Move page palettes around, save search structure and get a great overview of social media and web conversations around any brand or topic. Great addition to any web toolkit. Highly recommended!
Icerocket – blog and social media search. Separate streams by blog, web, Twitter, MySpace and other platform filters. Provides chronological listing of relevant items. Great conversation access tool, clean interface and simple to use.
How Sociable – shows brand or conversation visibility across a large number of social media spaces including Google, Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia and so on, including drill-down into specific platform results.
TWITTER SEARCH ENVIRONMENTS
Twitter Search – the basic inbuilt Twitter search. Same concept as Google, just searching the Twitter stream rather than the broader web.
TweetGrid – select the grid structure you desire, and then populate each with different terms for multiple real-time search results. Good for conference ‘conversation wall’ type presentations or watching multiple threads at the same time. Handy for watching two sides of an argument at the same time.
Twitterfall – watch the whole World’s Twitter posts pass in front of your eyes (might have to slow it down a little). Or perhaps more sensibly filter around trending topics or topics of interest. Good to get the ‘buzz’ on emerging conversations. Went into overdrive the day Michael Jackson passed away.
Twazzup – deceptive given the home page simplicity but actually a very nice topic and account search tool. For Twitter account names, the search results show recent posts, tag cloud, related images, news, popular links and contributors. Watch you don’t get hooked.
TWITTER – ALTERNATE VIEWS
Tweetree – Alternate web view of your Twitter account. Includes indented replies as well as inline displayed images and full link names within the visual flow. Sometimes does not work if you have a Twitter desktop application (such as TweetDeck) open at the same time.
TWITTER TREND ANALYSIS
Trendistic – charts the volume of Twitter posts on any given keyword as well as the list of recent Twitter posts. Simple but very effective way of seeing conversation volume.
Trendsmap – combines Google Maps with localized trending Twitter topics to provide a regional view of live topic trends. Great idea and worth a look, however the bandwidth requirements and mashup of already complex tools makes this filter a little sluggish.
DESKTOP TWITTER APPLICATIONS
TweetDeck – local (installed) application for accessing Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. Provides a customizable ‘column-based’ experience for managing social networking. Perhaps the best feature is customizable ‘groups’, allowing focus on your closest contacts, especially useful for people following large numbers of Tweeps. My testing is on a Mac, however TweetDeck is also available for Windows and Linux. Make sure you keep your version up to date. Highly recommended!
Seesmic – major competitor to TweetDeck for the social networking ‘desktop application’ of choice. Users consider it very good, not tested as part of this review but used by more than a million people.
PeopleBrowsr – not strictly a desktop application the PeopleBrowsr ‘Super Dashboard’ is through the web. It provides the same style of functionality – column views, saved searches, groups of users and inbuilt assistants for activities such as link shortening, and as a result the ‘Super Dashboard’ fits best in this class. The PeopleBrowsr site also provides Social Data Analysis and related services as well, with pay-by-the-month options that graduate above the basic free offering. I have not analyzed the ‘paid options’, however the free version is good. In my view however, not as good as TweetDeck or Seesmic. PeopleBrowsr is certainly worth a try and may suit some users very well.
Bit.ly – in addition to shortening long URLs, bit.ly provides history and statistical information on how many times the shortened link has been activated as well as plug-ins for other applications and browsers. Link shortening functionality is available embedded within most desktop Twitter applications.
Twitcaps – is to image posts what Twitterfall is to text posts. A real-time cascade of uploaded images from twitpic, twitvid, yfrog, Flickr, twitgoo, tweetPhoto and others. Be warned, you may not always like what you see. Bandwidth intensive, so don’t spend too long if you’re on a slow connection or paying heavily for data.
TWITTER RANKING AND ACCOUNT ANALYSIS
Twitter Friends – one of the best account analyzers and doesn’t need your account password, allowing you to analyze the accounts of others. Provides a host of statistics, frequency, volume, average tweet length and lots more. Compares selected account to the Twitter average or against a second account. Highly recommended!
Top Follow Friday – provides details of recommendations (endorsements) given and received. Details individual referring accounts, most recent endorsement and how many time recommendations have been made. Great site to get a handle on #FollowFriday and discover your biggest supporters. Or who you have a ‘Twitter crush’ on!
TweetStats – knows all about your Twitter habits. Your favorite Twitter application, average tweets per day and per month. Who you reply to and who’s messages you re-tweet. Great visual overview and a must try!
Twitter Grader – gives the selected account a score out of 100 and other ranking information, also lists the highest scoring accounts by location. Go on, see how you or someone else stacks up. It’s not a competition (or maybe it is)!
Twitterholic – ego for you or analysis of another person’s Twitter account? This tool provides status ranking (overall and by location) and charts the results over time. Don’t you know “I’m big on Twitter” *joking*, but I have the T-Shirt.
Twittercounter – count the number of followers, friends and updates for a chosen account and perhaps get a prediction on how many followers you (oh sorry, I mean they) will have tomorrow.
Twitter Analyzer – on your selected account, shows charts of tweet volume, reach, hashtag use, subjects and other metrics (by clicking the buttons on the base of the web page). Good for account trend analysis.
Twitalyzer – will score your selected account on factors including influence, signal, generosity, velocity and clout. I’m not sure what they mean but I guess you can work it out if you have the time – must be a definition somewhere.
Twinfluence – takes a while to run if the selected account has lots of followers and can fail if Twitter is busy, even machines get the ‘fail whale’ apparently. Really seems to work a bit too hard just to give you a score. Also, the default setting sends a result tweet on your behalf, with your score – I’m not a fan of positive auto-tweet defaults – prefer to control my posts manually!
Tweeps.info – provides Twitter account ratios such as tweets per day, hashtag percentage and URL percentage as well as recent topics and accounts followed.
Foller – Provide topic, hashtag and mentions in an account analysis for any given Twitter account. Also provides follower geography map and follow count growth chart (from Twittercounter). Makes me ask where are all my New Zealand friends *makes me sad*. Hope they are not mixed up with someone else – seem to be a lot in Tasmania!
TWITTER ACCOUNT CLEAN-UP ASSISTANTS
Friend Or Follow – great to see who you are following that is not following you back *those blighters* as well as similar imbalances. Handy when it comes time for a clean out! This really is a great tool for people with large numbers of followers who look for reciprocation. Worth the price of admission to this list just for this link! Highly recommended!
Twerpscan – highly detailed results for accounts with relatively small numbers of followers. Provides all the information you need to decide who to leave in and who to kick out (so to speak). Not as practical as ‘Friend or Follow’ for larger Twitter accounts, still worth a look. Great name!
SPECIFIC ADDITIONAL FUNCTION
Twtpoll – is a social media feedback tool that enables you to create and distribute polls or surveys on Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and other social media sites.
VIDEO FOR TWITTER AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Qik – Simply amazing. Have video uploaded from your iPhone or other web and video enable phone or mobile device to the Qik site and simultaneously to YouTube as well as notifications on Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and a number of other social media sites. See my sample here. Highly recommended!
TWITTER LIST CREATION AND LIST TOOLS
Conversationlist – Creates a dynamic Twitter list automatically, based on who is talking to you, or about you (your account). The list is capped at 25 accounts and refreshes daily. You can delete the list at any time.
TWITTER BACK-UP AND POST EXTRACTION
Tweetbook – produces a downloadable PDF of all Twitter posts for the selected account (recent ones at least). Nice and simple publisher.