Twitter 101: Friends and Follows II

2nd Main Way I find People to Follow:

  1. Brute Force – you’ll know it when you see it…(consider this the “browse” option.)
  2. Pattern Matching – You know who you want to follow, just need to find them…
  3. Backtracking – someone’s following me…should I follow them?

Geekette Alert: Did you know the three I listed are also common computer algorithms? An algorithm is a problem solving method with specific execution instructions. See their wikis here: Brute Force search, Pattern Matching search, and Backtracking

Pattern Matching

You know exactly who you want to follow…you just don’t know their username, their official Twitter page (versus the other 300 that get returned), or how to start looking for them.

i.  Twitter’s “Find People – Twitter’s tab at the top right part of the page (search engine.)  I kind of hate it…I find it hard to quickly find anyone…however there are a couple mildly redeeming tabs:

  • Suggested Users – offers a list of probably 200ish tweeps to start following.  List ranges from celebrities to causes to companies.  Good way to get the blood going before you start brute force following.
  • Find on other Networks – check your Gmail, AOL, and Yahoo accounts for Twitter users registered with a particular email address you have stored.  (I was surprised to find my mom registered…it can be an interesting task that takes 2 seconds.)
  • Invite by email – paste in a comma separated list of emails you’d like to encourage to join and follow you on Twitter.
  • Find on Twitter – Twitter’s uber excellent search tool, allows you to search by “Username”, “First Name”, or “Last Name”
    • This goes back to the importance of picking a good username AND specific first and last name.  Practice finding yourself using names, logos, nicknames people looking for you might also try.  Should be intuitive.

ii.  Twitter’s Search box – when on the home page (where all the tweets are displayed) there’s a text box to the right where you can search Tweets for usernames and hashtags.

  • See Twitter’s advanced search here.
  • Notice you can search by “Place” – another reason why your location should match that to what user’s are most likely to search by.

iii.  Google – good ole’ Google.  I normally use this before I try Twitter’s search.  Normally I search for “twitter <whatever I’m looking for>” as concisely as possible.

  • Normally start search string with “Twitter” (don’t know if it always makes a difference but it has occasionally.)
  • Use this technique if I’m looking for a company, business, entity, person
  • If multiple results are shown there will be an indention in the search results that includes a link to “Show more results from”…then you only see profiles (or content found in tweets) on


“Twitter half price books” found the correct @HalfPriceBooks

“twitter ruff ruff man” found my daughter’s favorite PBSKids show @RuffRuffman

“twitter sports illustrated” found @SI_24seven*

*Notice their username…even if the username is already taken (for example someone already has @sportsillustrated and @SI, I would’ve tried @SI24x7, @SI247, etc before picking something long with an underscore.)  I like their tweets and I’m already following though so I’m ok with it.  🙂  Just another consideration.

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