Today one of my enjoyable chores significantly streamlined my Tweetdeck client as I shed many list and search columns that were dedicated to listening to the Twitter chatter about the 2010 Massachusetts elections.
Filtering is one of the most important ways of efficiently finding the information you want to see on Twitter and using Tweetdeck columns to keep tabs on lists and searches is one of the easiest ways to keep an eye on the Twittersphere. Paying attention to what all sides are saying is a great way to find messaging, events, & commentary to share and/or respond to, so I thought I’d quickly share what I listened to and why in case it can be helpful for you during future elections, or as you plan for other types of campaigns.
For me, there are a few important considerations on how to think about what you should listen to:
- To state the obvious: hashtags that supporters and opponents are using to talk about the election (BONUS TIP: when setting up searches, leave out the “#” as long as it won’t flood the search stream too much by searching just for the word. Occasionally, people forget the pound-sign, use a “@” instead, or in some instances you’ll want to hear when people are using a word outside of the hashtag.)
- Candidate names (the ones you support and the ones you don’t) so you can hear the good and bad said about the candidates and help amplify whichever you might want to share by retweeting them (BONUS TIP: Retweet the old fashion way so you can add the hashtag and get the tweet more visibility.)
- Media outlets give you a quick glimpse at the headlines of the day (BONUS TIP: You can use Tweetdeck’s Filter Button to quickly see if there are any stories about the candidates that have been tweeted recently)
- Supporters to see what they’re saying and respond/retweet accordingly
- Campaign tweeps can give you a view of what the candidates are doing on a daily basis and a window into what they’re doing outside the popular hashtags (if anything)
- Relevant issues and keywords like the big dig, race to the top, tolls, yobgolins, loscocco, bakerbots, cape wind and other topics that might come up in the course of the campaign so you can respond/retweet accordingly
- Michael Durant’s Twitter list of #MAGov candidates
- Young Democrats of Massachusetts’ media list
- YDM’s Board member list
- My mongrel list of Massachusetts politics and Young Dems tweeps (which is admittedly in need of a little curating)
- If I were trying to pay closer attention to what the campaigns were doing and saying off-hashtag, I’d probably create or use an existing list of campaign staff (here’s @VoteDeval’s and @BakerforGov’s – @timforgovernor never made one)
Searches (note: some of these columns lasted longer in Tweetdeck than others, but for posterity & nostalgia’s sake, here’s as many as I can recall)
- mapoli OR masspoli
- devalpatrick OR “Deval Patrick” OR “Gov. Patrick” OR “Governor Patrick”
- timforgovernor OR “Tim Cahill”
- bakerforgov OR “Charlie Baker”
- bakerbot OR bakerbots
If you keep an ear out for Twitter chatter about campaigns or nonprofits, how do you decide what to search for?
Have other good tips for effective listening?
What was your favorite hashtag from the campaign trail?