Much fiddling with Twitter. One thing that is great about Twitter is that it more or less seems to pass the five minute test. Two resources to help get past Initial Euphoria, and move to Potential Productivity include O’Reilly’s The Twitter Book.
There is also a pretty good on-line guide at FastForward,, albeit with a more corporate orientation. I admit that I cringe when I see tweets like “Insurance industry finds value in social media”. Oh goody. But there is a lot of provocative theory there which suggests why Twitter might be a great way to leverage awareness of your non-profit “brand”.
One thing that makes Twitter so cool is that they published their application programming interface (API) early on, thereby enabling third-party programmers to cook up all manner of search and ranking tools that can sample and mine the tweet stream. This is a terrific example of a company who took a simple idea, maintained control of the idea, and yet allowed others to add value to it. And Twitter the company was recently valued at 1 billion dollars. Not bad for a company with no revenue yet.
Here are several Twitter search tools… mostly shamelessly cribbed from The Twitter Book
What The Trend http://whatthetrend.com
Twitters own Advanced Search found as a link near the search box on the normal twitter search page.
For some examples of what non-profits are doing with Twitter, there is a discussion on Mashable. Other comments and ideas are on Beth Kanter’s blog,”How Non-Profits Can Use Social Media”