One of Twitter's core attributes that has helped propel its growth is its open nature and extensible architecture (the ability to build on it). Twitter's open API (click here to see my API for marketers video) makes it possible for developers to allow access to user account information from third party servers and then build upon that.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been exposed to two services that leverage Twitter and try to add value to the community by building additional services. One I loved and the other I am totally over. You be the judge.
The worst - Qwitter At first, I thought I would like this application. Qwitter is very simple to use. You sign up online and the service looks at who is following you. Over time it tells you when somebody stops following you. Great information to know right? For me personally, I found that I was taking this personally. Qwitter would send me an email that somebody stopped following me and I had a little pang of guilt. I would think to myself, "what did I do wrong?" "How could I change this?". It wasn't healthy. So, in the end I quit Quitter. It wasn't adding value to me. If you're a masochist, go for it ;)
Now, for clients I would recommend using Qwitter. I think it's very valuable to know what messages lack resonance so the voice can be refined over time. It's part of the listening process. It's just not for me.
The best - Mr. Tweet I heard about Mr. Tweet on, you guessed it, Twitter. (Go figure.) At the end of the day, however, it's one of the most valuable services I've found for extending the service. Mr. Tweet is also easy to use. Once you follow their username on Twitter (@mrtweet) they send you a direct message with a personal URL. Once there you have two options, 1) find people who follow you and you should be following and 2) find new people to follow. Mr. Tweet uses some influencer mapping to suggest new people to you.
The service lets you log in to your account and easily follow the people you want. They show you nice metrics like total followers, total following, total message and the follower-to-following ratio. If you're looking to extend your network in a quality manner, this is a great service.
There is room for improvement however. Mr. Tweet has a very slow/non-existent refresh rate and needs to update each time new people are added to show a new group. Showing that I already follow someone isn't that valuable to me.
I'd encourage you to try Mr. Tweet if you have time and try Qwitter if you can take the rejection.
Either way, let me know what you think!
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