Ultimate guide to Twitter tools and resources for journalists

by Shawn Smith on January 18, 2008

Twitter page Finally thinking of testing out Twitter ? Online Journalism Blog posts why journalists should use Twitter , and I think new new media reporters could use a resource list. So grab your Twitter posse and start checking out these Twitter tools and resources:

What is Twitter!?!?!

Twitter is a micro-blogging service for messages of up to 140 characters that can be updated via SMS, Email, Web, Browsers, Desktop clients and whatever else. It can be used for telling the world what you’re doing, sharing insight, communicating with friends and associates and getting answers to your questions.

To truly understand Twitter, you have to use it. But to start, watch the video!

Get an Account

  • Twitter Home : It’s easy to set up an account and customize your page. Make sure you link back to your blog in your "about me" options.

Twitter Clients

  • Twhirl : By far the best Twitter client I have ever used. Looks slick and can dual post to Pownce. SWEET!
  • TwitBin : Put a Twitter client in your Firefox sidebar
  • TwitBox : former favorite Twitter desktop client. It even has experimental hashtags tracking (free).
  • Twitterlicious : First desktop client I used. Turned my Twitter universe upside down (also free).
  • Twitterific : Mac client. Mac’s also have dashboard Twitter widgets.
  • Twitter Flashlite : Mobile client
  • Tweetr : Mac/PC Client allows users to upload and share files and photos

Find Twitterers!

  • TwitDir : Find everything from most-followed users, to top posters to top 100 followers – I wonder who that is?
  • Twubble : Find popular twitterers that your friends are following
  • Twitterwhere? : Nice new app that let’s you find twitterers within 50 miles of you.
  • Twitterlocal : Annother web app to find local twitterers.
  • Twitslikeme : Find other Twitterers with your similar interests
  • Twitterwho ?: Find Twitterers by email address
  • TwitterAdder : Type in your account and randomly add 20 follows
  • TwitterSearch : Type in the term your looking for and find out who is tweeting about it!
  • TwitterMap : Find users in your area who are tweeting
  • TwitterVision : Worldwide tracking of Tweets in real time. You can even make this your desktop wallpaper background !

Tracking Memes

  • Summize : The most powerful twitter conversation tracker I’ve seen. Search for terms by user, language, attitude, tag, to and from user
  • Twist : Compare terms and get graphs showing how much that term was tweeted
  • Quotably : Type in any username and follow conversations in a threaded format
  • Tweet Scan : Find out who’s saying what, search for replies, words, whatever by user
  • Tweetmeme : Find out "what’s hot" on Twitter (Think Techmeme in Twitterland). Updates in real-time and looks spiffy!
  • Twitter Troll : Find popular terms used on Twitter in real time
  • #hashtags : Real-time tracking of tagged tweets organized though hashtags (example: #twittertools)
  • Twitigg : Twitter, Digg style
  • Politweets : Tracking tweets that reference presidential candidates (via OJB )

Twitter Metrics and tracking

  • TweetStats : Track your tweets per hour and month and your Tweet timeline
  • Twitter Quotient : Find out if you’re a Twitter hero or zero
  • TweetVolume : Compare the popularity of terms used in Tweets.
  • Tweetburner : URL shortener that tracks what happens with the links you post

Post Multimedia, Photos, Files

  • TwitPic : Post photos to your tweets – also integrated in latest version of Twhirl
  • Twiddeo : Post videos to your tweets
  • Mobypicture : Post photos to your Twitter and Flickr account from your mobile phone


  • PollDaddy Twitter tool : Probably the best polling Twitter integration. Would love to see this become a part of Twhirl with Google Docs capabilities.
  • Twittpoll : Opinion channel for Twitterers
  • Twitter Census : Surveys for Twitterers -1) Post a question 2) Get replies 3) See results

Join a Community

RSS and Tweet syndication

Twitterers to Follow

  • Shawn Smith on Twitter : That’s me! What’s wrong with a little self promotion?
  • Mich Sineath : Blogger and think tanker at AEJMC and his blog . I really like the way he uses Twitter to ask questions and interact with people.
  • Ryan Sholin : Innovative thinker and web worker for GateHouse Media. Also the co-creator of Wired Journalists .
  • Jack Lail : Smart guy doing some really cool things for Knox News.
  • Steve Buttry : Score some thoughts on training journalists for the new media revolution from Steve
  • Digi Dave : If you don’t know Dave, you better ask somebody. He’s got the moves for your social media habits
  • Popurls : Always something interesting, often cool items before they go bigg on Digg
  • Ann Marie Cox : Washington Bureau editor of Time online. Formerly of Wonkette. Has funny insights. (via BuzzMachine )
  • Breaking News On : Great Twitter feed of latest top news items.

Embedding Twitter Feeds – Twitter Badges

Fun Stuff

  • Twitsig : Make your Tweets into an image that can be embedded in forums or wherever HTML is allowed
  • TwittyTunes : Browser Add On that allows you to easily share what you’re listening to – integrates with Foxytunes Firefox add on

More Resources!!!

Twitter commands – via Koka Sexton (see great Twitter comics here too)

@username + message – A message directed at a specific user – be careful, everyone can see this!
D username + message – A direct message to a specific user that no one else can see!
WHOIS username – get profile info from any public Twitter user
GET username – see latest tweet of the specified user
NUDGE username – remind a twitter user to update their tweets!
FAV username – "marks a person’s last twitter as a favorite. (hint: reply to any update with FAV to mark it as a favorite if you’re receiving it in real time)"
STATS – returns your number of followers, how many people you’re following, and which words you’re tracking

Did I leave anything out that you really like? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list!

{ 65 trackbacks }

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