Friday, October 16, 2009

Is there Anybody "Out There"? - "Spearfishing" 4 People on Twitter Who "Get" You.

   One of the most interesting and puzzling challenges I've run into since becoming a Twitter user is in finding people to follow who are going to be interested in the same topics and types of conversation that I am interested in. I'm interested mostly in 21st Century Communications Solutions and how the changes in that area are impacting the nature of work and life. But I'm also interested in Technology in general, Science, Organizational Management theory, Cross-Cultural teaming and a bunch of other related topics. 

   But the only way it seems I can find people who have common interests, at least given my current expertise on Twitter, is to dive directly into the ocean of Twitter information hoping to somewhat randomly run across people who have common interests. It's like deep sea fishing by being dropped physically and randomly into the ocean with only a snorkel and a speargun. Finding the "fish" I'm after then involves having to make a series of dives down into the "Twitter ocean" looking around on my own with only a single breath of air each time. 

   The primary way I do this "spearfishing" now is I set up keyword search columns in Tweetdeck and whenever I see someone who has tweeted something on one of my topics I follow them. But there are so many "fish" in the ocean, and so many tweets on nearly any topic you pick, that I know I miss most of the tweets by people who have similar interests to mine.  Overall this Tweetdeck/keywords approach is a pretty manual and slow process. What is also then manual is the process of figuring out whether or not people I follow due to the content of their tweets end up following me back. This whole process seems to me to be way too random and unmeasurable. German engineers like myself tend to get annoyed by random and unmeasurable things. ;-) 

So my question is; Why doesn't Twitter make it easier for me to find the people, who I am certain are out there in the Twitterverse, that have very similar interests in what they want to do and share on Twitter? I've sampled a few third party tools like Mr. Tweet and SocialOoomph but none I've tried so far really has a killer model for doing what I'm looking to do. Any suggestions of tools you use that would solve this problem?

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