With so much going on Twitter, we long have passed the point of being able to just look at our timelines and stay up-to-date. In fact, I have personally stopped following and would even go as far as to remove a significant portion of the people I’ve been following over the years.
From people to topics
Before anyone gets offended by my supposed rudeness, let me clear up. I do get to stay up-to-date with a large variety of stuff on Twitter. I achieve this with by organizing accounts into thematic lists, combined with clever searching.
If you have never created a single list on Twitter, you’re missing half the fun. At the moment of this writing, I actively curate around 50 lists. The majority of those revolve around a certain topic I’m interested about, say Go or Python programming. Others are location based (Bremen, Munich, Bulgaria). In short, the fact that I don’t follow people on Twitter into a single timeline does not mean that that I don’t follow them at all. It’s actually the opposite - I follow many more people into many more thematically organized timelines.
This won’t solve the original problem, will it? In fact, many timelines must be making it a hell of a time to stay on top of each one. Well, yes, and this is where the power of clever searching comes to the stage.
In a previous article, I wrote at length about some of the hidden powers of Twitter searching. One of the many examples I presented in my article was using a Twitter list as the base filter for your search. Put simply, the following search:
list:username/list “climate change”
Will only return results that match the query
climate change, but only within the scope of the given list. Search for the right topics within the right lists, and you automatically get a significant noise reduction. As lists will inevitably get bigger, you can further reduce the noise, by leaving out only tweets with certain popularity or number of responses to.
list:username/list “climate change” min_retweets:3
list:username/list “climate change” min_replies:3
I have saved many such searches, which I then keep open on my favourite Twitter client. I like using TweetBot for iOS and macOS, but one could easily TweetDeck’s tabs for the same purpose.
P.S. I hear that Twitter is also going to release some support for topic subscriptions as soon as this week. Let’s wait and see the final outcome. Until then, I keep using the method, I described above.
It’s starting with more than 300 subjects across sports, gaming, and entertainment.