A week ago, the NZ Herald profiled NZ’s Top 50 people to follow on Twitter, plus a handful of others ‘as voted by you’. This caused a raging debate in the Twitterverse from the Twitter community in general, those who were most indignant of being left out, those scornful of those on the list and the unknown criteria for being included, and a few of the other media wishing they had run The List first and were missing out on some of the web traffic.
If you missed it here is NZ Herald’s Part One, Part Two and The Peoples Choice. Computerworld also published their list of the top tech tweeters who “influence, drive, or contribute towards the technology conversation in New Zealand.” Despite the controversy, it does show that if you are new to Twitter, it is bewildering to work out who to follow, how to find them, and even if they are a parody account or the real thing.
If you are a mummy blogger, following the tech gurus of the world are probably not your thing. Likewise, if you are a Formula One fanatic, then the latest fashion tips might fall on deaf ears. So how do you find people in your own industry or those who share the same interests as you?
If you are looking for people to follow, start with someone who you like, then check out their influencers or neighbourhood using one of the tools below.
This great little tool shows you who someone else talks to – the fatter the pipe between 2 people, the more they tweet each other. Here is the MentionMapp for John Campbell as an example (click on the image to enlarge).
To dig in on one person, just click on their name and you will see who is in their direct circle of influence. The interactive nature of this little tool makes it quite addictive – I have lost hours on this. You have been warned!
While Klout itself receives a lot of controversy for its mysterious ranking algorithm, justlooking at the Klout/ Influenced By for someone in your niche or who you think is worth following will give you more ideas about who to follow. Here is the ‘Influenced By’ list for Vaughn Davis. If you are interested in goats, advertising, social media, planes, or just general banter, then these are the people he has been chatting to via Twitter or Facebook.
Twitter itself can help you with who to follow. Apart from the ‘People Like X’ suggestions that pop up under a profile, it is also worthwhile checking if some of the people you follow to see if they have public lists of people they like to keep track of. Because let’s face it, there is so much happening in the Twitter firehose that it is easy to miss someone even if you really want to pay attention to them. Here are the lists that @nzben saves publicly. If you are a tech geek, then chances are you will enjoy following some of the people on Ben’s lists. Although the ‘would turn gay for’ list is probably just for Ben…!!
So in summary, following the NZ Herald list will fill your stream with a loads and loads of tweets, but they may or may not be interesting or relevant to you. Dig around and seek out those who share your interests and you’ll find Twitter a lot more enjoyable.
The last word goes to Chris Keall from the NBR:
If you want to be on NBR's list of NZ's Top 50 Google+ users, write your name on a slip of paper & leave it in the building skip behind NBR
— Chris Keall (@ChrisKeall) April 10, 2012