Saturday, April 25, 2009

Twitter Tools: Tweaking your TwitList

If you are a twitter user who believes in reciprocal following, there are a number of tools available to help you manage your lists. As with everything in life, there are pros and cons to each. Here are a couple of tools that will take the pain out of managing your TwitList.

Important Note: While there's a wide selection of twitter-helper "follow" tools available on the Web, many require your username and password to access your data. These types of sites tend to use your API allotment, which is limited to 100 per hour. (API means "Application Programming Interface" and is the protocol that lets third-party applications access twitter's servers.)

If you use up all of your available API, you are then forced to wait about an hour until your API limit is reset. This means you also have to wait to be able to tweet with applications like Tweetdeck or Seesmic Desktop.

Important Note: Because you are only allowed 100 API accesses per hour, you can quickly burn through your allowed API usage with some applications and end up hitting your hourly limit within minutes. TwitterKarma, for example, is a very popular tool designed to help manage your lists, but it does utilize API. In addition to affecting third-party applications like TweetDeck or Seesmic Desktop, it also becomes unwieldy if you either have an especially large number of followers or are following a very large number of people. While TwitterKarma is handy for Tweeters with small lists, it quickly becomes cumbersome and unmanageable with larger twitter lists.

Fortunately, there's a simple solution. Two invaluable sites, and, can be used together to help maintain your follow lists, even if you are dealing with large numbers of followers. These sites allow you to easily find out who is not following you back, and you can also find the people who are following you but you're not yet following. Because these two particular sites do not use your API allocation, they will not affect any third-party applications you happen to use. compares the people you're following with the people who are following you, and does not require that you give your password. At the main screen, simply type in your user name, and click on the "submit" button.

The site then grabs your follow lists and breaks down the information into three categories, which are accessible by choosing the appropriate tab at the top of the screen. The choices are:

  • A) the people you're following who aren't following you back,
  • B) the people who are following you but you're not yet following, and
  • C) the people you're following who are also following you back.

Each section appears with its own tab at the top of the table where the information is displayed, making navigation quick and easy.

The follower/following data itself is presented in a graphical format which displays the picture or avatar of the user. When you hover your cursor over an individual's picture, a little pop-up window tells you the user's name, username, the number of people the user is following, the number of people who are following the user, the date of the user's last tweet, and the date the user joined twitter.

The default display shows the users in alphabetical order. By using the pull-down menu at the upper right corner, you can change the display to sort by Username, Name, Location, Number of Followers, Number of people the user is following, the date of the users last tweet, and the date the user joined twitter. Clicking on an avatar opens the user's twitter home page in a new window, where you can then choose to follow or unfollow, depending on which FriendorFollow tab you are viewing.

Important note: The information presented on the FriendorFollow results page is not necessarily current. Some of the content is cached, so the actual stats may vary. It is a good idea to refresh the list periodically by going back to the main screen and re-entering your username to conduct a new query.

Remember that the FriendorFollow information is not always current, so it's a very good idea to verify whether someone is following you back before you remove them permanently. This is where comes in handy. This site lets you type in two user names to see if one is following the other, and using this resource will keep you from accidentally unfollowing someone who is actually one of your loyal followers.

These two tools should help make your follow list management effortless and easy. If you have found any other twitter resources that have helped you manage your followers, please leave a note in the comments section below, and I will post a review of them once I have had a chance to check them out. Thanks in advance for your input, and happy tweeting!

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Richard Bandler, the Master Hypnotist

Paul McKenna has uploaded a wonderful video to youtube which tells the story of the extraordinary Richard Bandler and how he helped a woman overcome her terrible fear of flying.

The lady's fear was legitimate - she was a victim of a hijacking while a passenger on a plane in Peru and genuinely feared for her life. For almost three decades she lived with a terrifying fear of planes and flying, made all the more sad because she was a trained pilot herself.

This short program illustrates the brilliance that is Bandler and how he uses seemingly simple techniques to overcome acute fears and phobias.

Based on my studies of Bandler, the explanations of Bandler's techniques are oversimplified and somewhat inaccurate, but the video is worth the watch to see the effects he achieves.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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Google's Virtual Eye: Expanding "Street View" with In-Home View

Google, the unofficial owner of the Internet, plans to unveil its newest project today, which expands upon its popular Google Maps, Google Satellite, Google Earth, Google Street View, and other related services.

Google In-Home View, tentatively dubbed Google's Virtual Eye, will allow users to type any street address or phone number into the search field and instantly be transported to a screen that shows the interior of the home. The technology uses a new proprietary API developed in conjunction with web cam manufacturers and cell phone developers, and has already undergone extensive secret beta testing.

Virtual Eye will have two options - a Cached View, showing Google's most recent capture of the interior of the home, and an optional Live View which will provide visitors with a Real-Time peek inside the walls of the requested business or residence, using the existing web-cams attached to in-home devices.

The new service is designed to work with all browsers and platforms, including Android, Windows Mobile, iPhone, and the as-yet-unreleased Palm WebOS.

Future plans include synchronizing the system with portable camera-enabled phones to provide Real-Time views of images captured by cell cameras, allowing unfettered and unrestricted access to almost every camera on the planet.

Google does not plan to charge for the service. Watch for the official announcement later today.

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