There are many ways to find folks worth following on Twitter. You can use any of the Twitter search engines to find people using specific hashtags or words, such as “#libraries” or librarianship. You can follow specific Twitter lists, such as our own “Librariana” (http://twitter.com/iBraryGuy/librariana). There are even sites such as WeFollow.com that are dedicated to classifying and ranking Twitter users. Perhaps one of the easiest means of finding tweeters worth following, however, is to simply look at who is following the tweeps you already know and trust. Google’s new Follow Finder aims to make that method of finding folks to follow even easier.
Using Follow Finder is as easy as entering the name of anyone Twitter. For instance, you could search for “iBraryGuy” (no “@” required). Click the search button and you will get results in two columns. The first column, labeled “Tweeps You Might Like”, is a list of recommended Twitterers based on the tweeps whom the person you searched follows. The second column, “Tweeps with Similar Followers”, actually looks at the relationships between the person searched and folks with similar lists of followers. Sound confusing? Follow along . . .
How Google arrives at that first list is interesting. Follow Finder compares the list of people the person for whom you searched follows, finds others with similar lists, and then identifies accounts you might also want to follow based on that comparison. These are the “Tweeps You Might Want to Follow”. In other words, if iBraryGuy follows Resource Shelf and other folks who also follow Resource Shelf additionally follow Read Write Web, Follow Finder will recommend Read Write Web to you.
The second list, “Tweeps with Similar Followers”, involves a similar comparison. Only here Google is looking at the users who are following the person you searched. So if you search iBraryGuy, Follow Finder looks at who is following us and then compares their lists of followers and makes recommendations to you based on recurring names. Think of it as the flip side of the social coin. When you enter a name into Follow Finder, it looks at both the folks whom that user follows and the folks that are following that user.
Google’s Follow Finder is a quick and easy way to run a two-dimensional search for new Twitter users worth following. When we say quick, we literally mean that it takes split seconds to get your results. And when we say easy, we might as well point out that Follow Finder even provides you with links under each name that allow you to simply click and follow. It doesn’t get much easier!
Still in Google Labs, we look forward to seeing where this new search tool ends up in the long run!