Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

Cool Tool Alert: Tweepi
February 1, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Cool Tool Alert, Networking/Social Media, Twitter

If you’ve got some cleaning up to do when it comes to the people whom you follow on Twitter, I highly recommend Tweepi. It’s not just a clean-up tool, it’s actually a complete Twitter account management tool. With Tweepi, you can auto-follow back new followers, auto-unfollow people who unfollow you, auto-reciprocate for those who are following you already but you’re not following them, and (my favorite) to a quick clean-sweep and bulk unfollow many accounts at once.

Example: I want to clean up the current people whom I follow. Once I us oAuth to access my account, I can pre-set targets:…or I can customize the columns which I’d like to see in the results:

Once I choose what columns I’d like to see, I can then start going through the list of people I follow and bulk follow/unfollow them:

The only thing I don’t like about the sorting feature is that it only sorts what is on the current page. Meaning, you have to click through and re-sort each page; it doesn’t sort all the results, just one page at a time.

Give it a shot – I love that this is a one-stop multiple function account management site. Enjoy!


Cool Tool Alert: Twiangulate
January 14, 2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: Cool Tool Alert, Networking/Social Media, Recruiting, Research, Twitter

This seems to be a great tool to find common connections between you and someone you follow or want to follow on Twitter. If you’re looking for a tool to help find great people to follow, give Twiangulate a shot.

“Twiangulate is a tool for discovering hidden tweeters, friends of friends (or friends of enemies), micro-influentials who only insiders follow… or sometimes just friends you haven’t yet realized are tweeting.” So basically, this is an automated discovery version of Twitter lists. But unlike lists, these groupings aren’t generated subjectively by individuals – the results are generated by algorithms and other complicated tech things designed by Henry Copeland, Kaley Krause, and Jessica Siracusa among others.

Here’s how it works: you can auto-authenticate your Twitter account to get started, and then enter up to 3 usernames of people whom you follow or would like to explore. I chose to start with just one person whom I highly respect for this example:

Caution: if you choose people who are popular, you may have to run them one at a time or else you’ll get an error message.

As a result, this is what was returned – three people who are mutual connections of ours, as well as a long list of others that Twiangulate found to be the most influential people whom these folks follow. The provided list may be sorted by # of followers, # of people whom they follow, or by location as well:

While this is certainly a fun tool for finding new, interesting people to follow – think about it from a sourcing or recruiting standpoint. What if you were to plug in the Twitter account for say, an alumni group, or a professional association that tweets? You could then get a list of the most influential Twitter accounts followed by those people…

Example: @NACEorg– not a huge account, but one of interest to me, because according to the bio, “The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is the leading source of information on the employment of the college educated.” So I plugged it into Twiangulate and here’s what I got – some pretty interesting new accounts that I should be following and interacting with:

Go ahead and give it a shot yourself. You might be surprised at the individuals who come up that you should have been following all along!

Why I Prefer TweepML Over Twitter Lists
November 19, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: Cool Tool Alert, Networking/Social Media, Technology, Twitter

Twitter recently released Twitter Lists which allow you to group people together based on whatever subjective categorization method you want. For example: since its rollout I’ve been made a part of 107 lists, including: Networking RockstarsHuman Capital PeepsMovers and ShakersGators (go Tebow!), and my favorite – Women. (I looked down and checked; yup, that’s an appropriate group for me to be in)

This is great that Twitter has created these lists – however, Twitter is a bit late to the game with this upgrade, and there are some limitations/downsides to its current functionality. For starters, I’ve had “lists” of people in my TweetDeck groups since 2008. I know other Twitter apps have also provided the opportunity to categorize our flocks of tweeple. In addition, when you ‘follow’ a list, all you’re following is the list. And to the best of my knowledge, in order to view the list updates, you actually have to go TO the list instead of having it automatically update like with TweetDeck groups. You can’t subscribe to an RSS feed of the list yet, either, like you can for individual Twitter users. (unless you know how to manipulate Yahoo Pipes) AND – if you want to actually follow the people in the List, you know, so they can DM you and so forth, you have to manually click through each person and follow them. I don’t know about you, but I’m too lazy busy to do that these days.

Of course, you also can’t ‘share’ your TweetDeck groups so Twitter Lists has a leg up here. But I found something better a couple of months ago, long before Twitter launched its lists feature…

My list-builder of choice is a sweet little service called TweepML. TweepML is “an XML format used to represent a list of Tweeps (Twitter users).” Basically, you can add people to a list, share the generated link, and allow other people to actually follow those individuals, not the list itself. In addition, you can add buttons to your website to provide an easy one-click follow to all of the people on the list, or you can select who on the list you want to follow by checking the box beside a name.

The best part is that I’ve actually found a great way for the two of these listing services to play together! A very cool feature that TweepML has is a quick import tool, so if you have a link to a page with a list of Twitter users that you want to add to a list (let’s say, oh, a Twitter List) it will automatically extract the Twitter users from that site and put it directly into your list builder.

For example: we recently had our first Bellingham Social Media meet & greet, and I wanted to create a list of people who were interested in the group on Twitter. I created a Twitter List of these people, copied the URL, and pasted it into the field that TweepML provides to automatically find Twitter users:

I finished creating the TweepML Bellingham Social Media list and posted the link up on our Facebook group page so that everyone there can follow each other without having to constantly click through to the Twitter list. Simple, quick, and no extra steps!

Now – something that would be even more of a value-add would be an integration between TweepML and say TweetDeck to automatically associate people from a certain list with an existing group….how ’bout it guys? Can you make that happen?

Cool Tool Alert: Masterbranch
September 28, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: Cool Tool Alert, Technology

Found this new resource for IT professionals (and IT recruiters too!) – Masterbranch. It’s a network that’s currently only available for IT folks, letting them connect with each other through search based on projects, skills, and available opportunities.

According to KillerStartups review, “…through [Masterbranch] you can have something akin to an intelligent resume that reflects any change that should merit inclusion…This dynamic profile is built by looking at your sites and blogs (IE, your activity on the WWW) and the site also doubles as a sort of networking resource where IT professionals can meet up with each other and build relationships like that.”

This site grabs all your information based on OpenSourceID verification and it dynamically builds an IT ‘resume’ based on your web activity. Obviously, this wouldn’t be a resume that would be suitable to bring on an interview, but it’s a good sampling of your online presence and an additional place for you to build your personal SEO and be find-able to recruiters. For recruiters, this is yet another resource for sourcing! The site pulls your information from LinkedIn, Stackoverflow, Google, Sourceforge, Serverfault, Launchpad, Ohloh, GitHub, BitBucket, and your blog if you have one.

Once your profile is built, you can start looking at other community members based on projects and skill areas. The most popular areas are linked at the bottom of the page, and you can join project “networks” to be found based on skill area.

People search is also intuitive; start typing a name and it will suggest people who are community members. It’s still a small community, but it’s certain to grow quickly. Updates are automatically pulled from the online accounts you add to your profile. No manual updates are necessary once you’ve added an account – pretty sweet!

IT recruiters: this is worth taking a look at. IT professionals – this is another place for you to get noticed!

Cool Tool Alert – AutoSearch Mobile iPhone App
September 22, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: Cool Tool Alert, iPhone, Technology

AutoSearch on the iPhoneThe Cool Tool Alert has returned! This week, I want to feature a neat iPhone app that is an extension of a service that I learned about way back in June at the Fordyce Forum from founder Lori Fenstermaker. Lori started AutoSearch almost by accident, and what started off as a “side business” has quickly become her main focus, with some pretty notable clients. (you’ll have to ask Lori for that client list!) Lori revealed to me at Fordyce that AutoSearch would soon be coming out with an iPhone app, and as an iPhone user I asked her to let me know when this happened. Well – here it is! AutoSearch Mobile:

“AutoSearch Mobile simultaneously searches leading business and social networking sites: LinkedIn, Twitter, Jobster, and ZoomInfo. AutoSearch Mobile also searches the entire web for matching resumes and CVs.”

Basically, it’s AutoSearch Lite. This is a great way to sample what AutoSearch can do. I tested out this new iPhone app and was very impressed with it. It’s quite user-friendly, compact, and relatively accurate. Keep in mind of course, you’re searching the Internet, which is not a recruiters’ database, so you must have realistic expectations of your search results. But that being said, the results I got from my simple search were actually pretty good!

AutoSearch ss1Things I liked about this app:

  1. You can add in your own locations, or simply choose from the ones that are already pre-populated. To add new ones, you simply click on the Setup button
  2. It’s VERY simple. You type in some keywords, a job title, a name, or whatever you’re searching for, and you get results all on one screen from Jobster, LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, Twitter, and regular web search.
  3. The app accepts pretty much all Boolean search operators, or you can just simply type in a few keywords.
  4. Search results keep you in the app. You never have to leave the app to view them!
  5. Search results are easily email-able to your account or wherever else you’d like to send them – again, right from the app.
  6. Search results are amazingly refined.

AutoSearch ss2

Just a couple of things I’d like to see different:

  • It would be great to see the actual Boolean search string in the results.
  • You cannot save the searches done on the iPhone app.
  • Would like search results to be able to be synched with the full version if you’ve purchased it.

It should be noted that in the full AutoSearch tool, keywords are automatically stored so this takes care of the saved search issue. At only $4.99, this is a great deal as well!

I’d highly recommend checking out the full version, and take a look at the video for the new AutoSearch Mobile app as well as the info video for AutoSearch itself. Definitely worth looking into!

Cool Tool Alert: Hashtag Chats
July 6, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Cool Tool Alert, Twitter

Admittedly this isn’t anything terribly new, but I would bet money that most of you have never participated in a hashtag chat before! So, what is a hashtag chat?

First off, let’s define a Hashtag: it’s putting the pound (#) sign in front of a word or a phrase in order to track conversation about that word or phrase on Twitter. So for example, some of the most popular hashtags at the writing of this post included #iranelection, #jobs, #journchat, and #bachelorette. This means that a lot of the conversation being had was about the election in Iran, people looking for jobs, folks discussing The Bachelorette, and people participating in the hashtag chat, #journchat. Which leads to the next definition…

A hashtag chat is an organized conversation via Twitter that is followed using a hashtag term. The chats are usually moderated, have either pre-set questions or chat leaders, and usually happen at a pre-determined day and time on a semi-regular basis. Since these conversations happen real time, and in the public Twitter stream, they can be participated in by pretty much anyone who’s interested.

Here is a list of some of the more popular and best organized hashtag chats, as provided on

  • #cmtychat – a weekly discussion about the business of online communities, Fridays from 12-1pm CT, hosted by @sonnygill and @bryanperson
  • #journchat – a weekly conversation on Twitter between journalists, bloggers and PR pros, taking place Monday nights from 7-10pm CT
  • #smchat – a discussion on the power of social media among active practitioners and strategists, taking place Wednesdays at 12pm CT
  • #blogchat – a chat on Sunday nights from 8-9pm CT that was started by @MackCollier to discuss blogs and best practices

There are plenty of other topics, ranging from SEO to K-12 education to healthcare communications and marketing practices, and even cars and the automotive industry. I recommend checking out the organizers who have registered with What The Hashtag here.

I’d also encourage those of you in the recruiting business to check out the #talentnet (or #TNL) hashtag chat run by Craig Fisher and Susan Kang Nam. It’s a hashtag chat specifically for recruiters that takes place the last Wednesday of each month at 9pm Eastern.

Some of you may be wondering why I’m listing this as a “Cool Tool” and the reason is simple: large audiences discussing the same topic. This is like you attending an industry trade event. If you work in a particular industry or function that has a hashtag chat already established, it’s a great opportunity for you to network with these professionals. It’s also a great place to learn about a particular topic you’ve been interested in finding out more about. I’ve also noticed that every time I participate in a hashtag chat – I mean REALLY participate by following the topics and adding value when applicable (there’s a tip) – I typically gain anywhere from 5-15 new followers. And usually the new followers work in some capacity related to the chat.

By the way – if you don’t see a hashtag chat listed in YOUR industry, don’t complain, throw your hands up in the air, and say it doesn’t work for you 🙂 Why don’t YOU start the chat – that’s the beauty of social media. You don’t have to wait around for someone to create content; you can take the initiative and do it yourself.

Cool Tool Alert: 140it
June 1, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Cool Tool Alert, Twitter

My Cool Tool Alert this week is 140it (pronounced ‘One-Forty-it’). Having been around since early 2009, this tool will help you condense your tweets into the necessary 140 characters to be sent. No longer will you have to sit there and try to figure out TweetSpeak on your own, or fumble around with going to another site, copy/paste your message, shrink it down, and then go back to Twitter. This neat little bookmarklet can be clicked and dragged right to your browser toolbar!

140it shrinks your twitter messages down to 140 characters by:

  • Reducing words, removing extra spaces
  • Shrinking URLs with unhub
  • Exchanging company names with their StockTwits symbol

Check out their easy instructional video and see how to grab the bookmarklet. It’s as simple as a click and drag to your toolbar:


What you’re lifting from the site is a javascript bookmarklet that will sit in your toolbar. When you go to Twitter and type a message that’s greater than 140 characters, simply click on your 140it link in the toolbar and it will automatically shrink your message for you. Twitter will only shrink your URLs, and that’s only if your entire message, link included, is under 140 characters. Take a look at before the message is shrunk:


…and after clicking 140it in my toolbar:


This tool works with Safari, Firefox, and IE7 and above. Sorry – it doesn’t appear to work with IE6. Take a look and try it out for yourself!