As this blog has started to evolve and grow traffic wise (we hit 50,000 pageviews in August, 3 months after launch) we find ourselves looking for the latest news and trying to find angles on social media and tech stories that others have not yet spotted. There are many ways of finding the latest news which have already been discussed to death including RSS and all the press release services but with people sharing huge amounts of links through Twitter these days we have found a new way of getting all the latest stories. We have used Tweetdeck to build our own personal search engine that helps us filter through all the noise generated on Twitter and get all the quality links. We got the idea to build it after seeing the video below (give it a couple of minutes to get going it really is brilliant though) a couple of months ago and although it takes a decent amount of work here are some tips on how you can build your own news search engine using Twitter...
Follow some of the major tech bloggers but follow their personal accounts rather than the main blog account. A couple of good examples are @robinwouters and @arrington. from Techcrunch.They will often tweet out really interesting links from their sources that they are not publishing themselves.
Make sure to set up at least a couple of columns of search relating to the area that you cover. So for example if you have a football blog you may need to set up searches for Premiership, Manchester Utd etc etc.
As it explains in the video use your filters intelligently. A smart way is filtering so as only http appears so as you only get a constant stream of links which will relate to your subject rather than just what people are saying
Take time to find all the other people who are covering your area and also the influencers in the market. You need to hear the human sentiment and conversation around your area as well as the articles in order to catch the mood correctly.
Filter into Colums
You'll be looking for different types of stories at different times so rather than having one big cluttered feed take the time to break your followers down into different categories so as you have an instant overview of each area that interests you.
Follow all the major newspapers but instead of following their main feed drill down into the area that you want to cover like if I was covering food I would follow @timesfood or @LAtimesfood. Although not as fast at picking up news as blogs they will often have exclusive interviews and features that you will hear about there
Follow all the traditional news wires and the breaking news services will give you up to the minute breaking news.
Quick Additional Tips
Set up new twitter account away from your personal account
Use Tweetdeck on the iPhone to have a portable news machine
The more time you spend refining the better the results
You will start to see the benefits pretty quickly and start to absorb a lot more quality content if you take the time to set this up correctly. If your business is all about getting the latest and best information from the web or monitoring your brand then this is the tool for you and indeed I could nearly see a day where a company builds customized Tweetdecks for clients. Go get yours started now!