History is playing out live online but how can we cut through the noise and find high quality, accurate, and relevant tweets. NPR posted an excellent “Primer on Following Egyptian Protests on Twitter” by @acarvin. Their list of suggested users is very useful but here are some additional tips for listening better and finding quality information for any event.
Sidebar: I encourage the media organizations to actually begin to create these listening lists for public use. @YahooNews does this at times and it’s an incredible resource. If NPR turned this into a Twitter List then they could add people to without having to update the blog post. Just something to consider.
Update: Kudos to @NYtimes for doing exactly this – their Egypt list is @nytimes/egypt
4 Tips to Listen Better
- Twitter Lists: Using the NPR suggestions I’ve created @tsudo/Egypt. The benefit of having a list is you can quickly view the latest tweets from a variety of sources. I use lists for News and Twitter info but in a real-time event they are crucial to improving your signal-to-noise ration.
- Relevance Insights: Use @Topsy Search for #Egypt or #Jan25 (to combine them use #Egypt OR #Jan25) – Hashtags are excellent but due to the high traffic of tweets it can difficult to see what is important. Topsy Search shows updates by relevance bringing the more important tweets to the top. They also offer filters for time-lines and date ranges.
- Find Photos: Topsy Image Search for Egypt – Tweeters use a variety of pic sharing sites so an aggregated image stream is essential. Hover over the image to see the text of the original tweet.
- Find Experts: Topsy Experts – @Topsy uses community interation to help identify the more important voices so you can quickly find people worth listening to. You can see the number of mentions and bio of the user. It’s interesting to note that at least 2 of the suggested experts are on the NPR list.
(Hint: @Topsy it would be a killer feature to allow users to turn the experts into a twitter list).
What tips would you add? Questions? Leave it in the comments.