I love the variety and serendipity of Twitter’s timeline. Whenever I check my timeline, I see the news, commentary, humor and complaints of the moment from the nearly 2,500 people that I follow.
But the variety and serendipity that I love can quickly become the chaos that makes Twitter confusing and time-consuming — and thus useless — to a busy beat reporter.
Reporters, even if they enjoy the free flow of the timeline, should use Twitter lists, saved searches, alerts and/or columns in a service such as TweetDeck or HootSuite so they can more efficiently and more reliably find the tweets that are most useful to them.
One more important way to organize Twitter is to check your “mentions” regularly. On Twitter.com, click “connect” at the top of the page, and it will let you see only tweets that mention you (or you can click the tab to see all your interactions – retweets, new followers and people who have favorited your tweets, in addition to mentions). This helps you see quickly when people are replying to your tweets or otherwise mentioning you. (more…)