Saturday, November 07, 2009

Twitter Management

In recent months I've found myself swamped scanning various twitter accounts for prize news. My first attempt to solve this was a page full of twitter accounts, but clicking each one was too time-consuming. Only a few would have updates on a given day, so I needed a method to just get the updates, preferably organized by theme. I tried some twitter widgets within blogger (on the right here and here). These have been helpful, but they seem to have refresh limitations. I also tried some canned twitter searches, and these are also proving to be helpful. For example, for the X PRIZE Foundation, I have

X PRIZE Foundation Accounts

For student prizes, I have

Student Prize Accounts

For Google Lunar X PRIZE, I have

1 Google Lunar X PRIZE Accounts
2 Google Lunar X PRIZE Accounts
3 Google Lunar X PRIZE Accounts

These solve the problems with the widgets, but I'm not completely happy with these, either. First, I would rather have 1 Google Lunar X PRIZE search, not 3, but there's a 140 character limitation to twitter searches. Another issue is that it seems like Twitter Search doesn't do what I would intuitively expect it to do. For example, let's say I go to twitter and look up "GoZeroG" or "pkhomer":

For pkhomer, I see updates from a couple weeks ago, and for GoZeroG, I see updates from a few hours ago. However, when I use Twitter Search:

I get "No results for from:gozerog" and the same for pkhomer. It seems to happen for some accounts, and not others. I'm sure there's some esoteric but rational reason for this, but it's not what I want. That's why I was interested in the follow tweet from Doug Comstock from NASA IPP, the organization that, among other things, runs Centennial Challenges on the NASA side:

@Doug_Comstock: I started a new list of NASA Prize Winners on twitter. Four so far. Let me know if there are others. @Doug_Comstock/nasa-prize-winners

Here's a link to that list: nasa-prize-winners. Currently it has @dmasten, @LaserMotive, @paulsrobotics, and @plhprod1 (Peter Homer).

Apparently "Twitter Lists" is a new feature that is being rolled out. See Hands-on with Twitter Lists - CNet News. I'm looking forward to trying this new feature, and hoping it solves the various problems I've encountered with my patchwork of twitter management attempts.

For the NASA prize winners list, and just sticking with Centennial Challenges, I'd probably use @pkhomer, since that twitter account seems to be the active one for Peter Homer. I'd also include @armadillogadget. For Masten, I'd probably be torn between using @mastenspace and the whole Masten team (which, as far as I know, means adding @mojaverocketguy, @wikkit, @colinake, and @mmealling to Dave Masten's account above).