Saturday, June 20, 2009

Looking at Tweetscript (

I saw this tweet "How cool is tweetscript??" and decided to take a look. I've done a bit with a Groovy script to automatically tweet contents of an RSS feed, and I've been thinking it would be useful to have a more comprehensive twitter toolset. Unfortunately tweetscript isn't what I was thinking about but it may be useful as it is. It offers you tools to manage your lists of followers, scheduled tweets, and to update the design of your twitter account. These features are useful in making powerful use of twitter. By becoming a paid user of even more features are available.

"Smart Tweets" are the way to schedule tweets. I think it might be useful to post occasional messages about your product or service or some cause you're promoting. That's what scheduled tweets offer. But I can followers would be turned off reading the exact same message from you over and over. Smart tweets generates varying tweet text. It uses "Lists" to hold words or phrases that are substituted into a tweet template.

For example the account comes with the 'adjective' list containing: amazing, cool, stupendous, awesome, neat

With that list your smart tweet could be: check out this [adjective] site about electric vehicles:

Okay, it's going to take more thought than this to be truly compelling. Lists are more powerful than this simple example.

With a smart tweet created it can be scheduled to be sent. A tweet can be sent once, or sent repeatedly (if you upgrade).

A message scattered all through the basic account screens is "Upgrade for More".. the Basic account is free, and at a monthly subscription price you can have more features. More smart tweets, the ability to schedule a smart tweet more than once, more profiles, more lists, more flexibility in follow management, more, more, more. More is a slippery slope.

In "Designs and Profiles" you can easily update the design or bio on your twitter page. Twitter gives you a short bio and a link to a web site, plus a few background designs. Supposedly if you customize the account even further it makes you look more professional and more worthy of following. The site lets you maintain several bio's and designs, and easily upload those to your twitter account. You can even schedule rotation of bio's and designs.

In "Friends and Followers" you maintain the relationships with other twitter accounts. This area may be the most powerful section and most of it is available only in the upgraded account.

It gives you a small report of accounts you follow, those who don't follow you, accounts who follow you, and those you don't follow. You can purge your follow list of those who aren't following you, and can follow accounts that are following you now.

The report seems useful but this auto purge or auto follow strikes me as not very useful. It would force you to follow accounts who follow yours, or not follow those who don't follow you. There's a lot of accounts blasting outright spam or otherwise aren't terribly useful. There is a practice of following a zillion accounts, simply to gain more followers. I explicitly do not want to follow an account simply because that account followed mine, so that I don't have to see tweets from less-than-useful accounts.

The 'immunity lists' are accounts you want to never unfollow. 'Nofollow lists' are accounts you want to never follow. Those two features solve the issue I just mentioned, and are only available in the upgraded account.

There are two interesting tools to find accounts to follow. 'Keyword following' searches twitter for accounts using words you specify, and automatically follows those accounts. 'Mimic following' is based on a practice many use of following the followers of accounts you specify. It shows you the percentage of overlap between the followers of your account, and the followers of the specified account, and it can be instructed to close the gap by following the followers of the other account.

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