From noise to knowledge with TweetDeck

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Image by Will Lion

When I am talking to academics and students about Twitter, one of the reasons they often give for not using it is that there is too much information.  While we may not be interested in every book in the library, that doesn’t mean we should avoid using it! Rather, we use the library catalogue and online databases to help us find the information we need.  One way to get the most from Twitter and manage all this information is to use TweetDeck.  Here are three TweetDeck pro tips to help you filter the noise and extract knowledge.

#1 Follow a specific user or list

There are lots of academics, professionals and organisations sharing their knowledge and views on Twitter.  If you want to make sure that you don’t miss any Tweets from a specific user, you can add a column for them.  Or, if you have created a list of users that you’re particularly interested in, you can display all their Tweets in a column.  This allows you to quickly see the updates that are most relevant to you without having to scroll through your entire stream.

#2 Use it to listen

Another way to make sure that you don’t miss any important Tweets, is to create a search column for a specific hashtag or phrase.  Any Tweets that include the search term or hashtag will be displayed, even if you don’t follow the person who posted them.  This is a great way to take part in a Tweet chat or to follow a conference or event online.  This short video will show you how to use TweetDeck to listen.

#3 Filtering columns

If your columns are still showing too many irrelevant Tweets, you can filter the results.  Click the configuration button at the top right of the column to select from the options available.  For example, you can focus in on Tweets that contain media or links, show only Tweets that include or exclude specific words, or ignore retweets.  You can also limit the Tweets that are shown to verified users or to Tweets that have got a specified number of retweets, likes or replies.

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Filter the content of a column to display the Tweets that interest you most

To curate notable Tweets, add a Collections column and drag Tweets in from other columns, enter the URL of a Tweet at the bottom or use the Add to collection link (click the 3 dots below the Tweet) to build up a customised list.  You can then Tweet about your collection or embed it in a website or blog and share the knowledge you have acquired on Twitter with others.

You will find more TweetDeck pro tips in the Twitter Help Center or share your own in the comments!

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