Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess


Sourcing Shorties
January 4, 2009, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Networking/Social Media, Research

Given the recent Shorty Award craze, I started thinking how I could leverage its popularity for my own sourcing purposes. After all, there is a ton of information available on the website – just take a look at the massive number of tweeters who have been nominated for various awards! So, the idea of this post is to provide a few examples of how to source shorties.

Consider this: the tweeters who were nominated for these awards are interested in social media, and are considered some of the best movers and shakers – by their peers – in the Twit-o-sphere. If you are recruiting or sourcing in the social media space, this website is a veritable goldmine of potential connections. There are corporate accounts as well as individuals, so this is also an opportunity to company-shop, seek out potential new clients, see what companies are really capitalizing on business use of social media, and find the individuals who have taken Twitter and run with it.

Even if you’re not looking for social media people, there are enough categories here to quench your thirst outside of the social media circle. For example, some interesting categories include politics, religion, fashion, journalism, education, music, and non-profits.

First of all, look at the complete list of award categories. There are a total of 26 official categories and a whopping 1,808 user generated categories! That’s a LOT of areas of interest. The thing I would do with this list first is copy it from the website and dump it into a spreadsheet. Then, you can sort by either the category or # of votes. When you sort by the category name, you’ll be able to target the specific categories that are of particular interest to you. For example, categories in which I personally would take a great deal of interest would be advertising, PR, socialmedia, marketing, communications, journalism, and media.

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You can of course click on the links to each category right from the website but this spreadsheet approach will give you your own workable list of potential connections that you will be able to manipulate offline, and this list only contains the top 10 nominees, as opposed to the web lists which will give you every single person who was nominated. Once you’ve done this, I’d focus on the website for most of the rest of your sourcing.

After determining the categories in which you are interested, you can go to the website and start systematically clicking through the categories to learn about the nominees. Take the time to read why their colleagues nominated them. At the top of each nominee’s page, you will see both a link to their Twitter account and whatever website they have listed in their bio. Plenty of great information about each of these folks, including short, under-140 character recommendations and Twitter character references. 

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And, as a bonus for those of you with Broadlook tools, I tested this out on Eclipse and found that, with some manipulation, you can actually pull the information directly from the category pages and extract full names and twitter username URLs. I would imagine that one of eGrabber‘s tools would work here as well.

I think this is a great way to start developing contact sheets of some of the folks you want to connect with on Twitter. They’ve already come recommended by peers in a nice, neat little package for you. All that’s left is for you to reach out and start developing good relationships. Happy Sourcing!

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