5 Online Tools for a Better Twitter Experience

Best Twitter Tools

Unless you are a movie star, politician, or some other type of public figure, Twitter followers are not likely to fall into your lap without effort. If you are looking to read quality tweets from colleagues, friends, and like-minded individuals, you have undoubtedly put considerable thought and time into finding people to follow.

There are hundreds of twitter tools online that promise various results, depending on what you want. Two primary areas of concern are quantity/quality of followers and relevant topics. Here are five tools that you might find useful in your quest for a pleasant and possibly even rewarding Twitter experience.


First and foremost, you can use Wefollow as a quick search tool to find prominent celebrities, but if hanging on the every word of Oprah is not your thing, Wefollow also has an extensive tagging system. Twitter users opt-in to Wefollow, providing it with up to five tags they feel best describe their tweets. Other users can then search those tags to find them. In addition to searching by topic, users can also search by location.

To add yourself to, click “Add yourself to Wefollow” at the top right of the main page.  Next, enter your your home city, followed by your top five tags. Try to be thoughtful in the tags you choose rather than using generic descriptors like “man” or “American”.

Finally, Wefollow will have you send a tweet with your new tags. Click “Send” to be added to the list.  Once added, it will give you a rank that you can increase by Tweeting about your topics.


You started following her three months ago, but is she following you?  For those who like to have mutual following relationships on Twitter, FriendOrFollow might be the answer. Essentially, you enter your username, click submit, and see who you are following.  This first tab will only show people that you are following and who have chosen to not follow you back.  Hopefully, this list will only include high-profile users you expect to not follow you and not any close friends.

The “fans” tab will show you users who are following you, but you are not following them. If you are like me, you might have received an email informing you that someone was following you, but you never got around to following him or her. This tool can be used for basic housekeeping.  Chances are, there will be Internet marketers and even some suspended accounts that show up in this tab.

The final tab lists your friends, i.e. those you follow and who also follow you.  With any luck, this will be your largest section.


Yes, clouds are pretty, but they can also be useful. In this case, tweet clouds are those topics you might have seen experienced Twitter users prefix with a # symbol. These tags help other users find useful information related to certain topics. There are actually people who use Twitter for business, research, or to connect with others in meaningful ways. Tags have become the preferred metadata elements of the Web, and Twitter is no exception.

With tweetcloud, the current most trendy tags will be displayed on the front page. For example, at the time of this writing, current tags include TBS, Conan O’brien, Microsoft, and Cosby. More significantly for those who want specific topics, the search function allows users to search for anything. I performed a test search using the word “tablet“, which brought up tags like iPad, Google, Android, Apple, WePad, and Coming.

Finally, you can search particular Twitter users, which requires you to login to Twitter. Searching a particular user allows you to see their specific tweetcloud. My biggest tags include KDE, Tech, Linux, and writing.


Because we 21st century human beings love to see data, even if we do not understand it, Chirpstats provides you with more than enough numbers and graphs satiate your urge for statistics. Simply put, this tool analyses your Twitter following and gives you a complete analytic package to help you learn more about them, including a detailed list and dynamic graphs.

To use, follow @chirpstats.  According to their website, they will send you a message a couple of days later with your first update.


Perhaps my favorite of the bunch, Nearbytweets gives you live dynamic updates of tweets being posted in your area. The posts literally scroll up your browser window as they arrive. You can also configure multiple locations, change the search radius, save keywords, and change the refresh rate for new tweets.

When you first arrive at the site, you may need to change the location.  Move your mouse over whatever location it says after “Tweets nearby” and click the “Change” button. To save the location you enter, click “Preferences” and under “Recent locations” click the check icon to the right of your location to make it the default.

There are a plethora of other Twitter tools available both on the Web and for your computer or mobile devices. Find the ones that work best for your needs and be sure to share them with others. Twitter need not be an aggravating exercise in SPAM prevention. With the right tools, you can have an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

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I am a librarian with 8 years of experience in information architecture, technology, free and open source software, and electronic publishing. I have written hundreds of articles on topics ranging from information technology to politics. I also write fiction novels, short stories, and fables.

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