You may not "get" Twitter. And that's okay. You don't have to understand it to understand that it's huge and that it has influence and information that can help your business. So it's not so much about getting Twitter, in fact, most of us don't get it. Tweet or don't tweet, that's up to you. But you cannot ignore the fact that Twitter (not Facebook) has become the real-time barometer of public sentiment about everything.

Want to see how people are reacting to the Super Bowl ads as they are being aired? Track tweets about them. Want to know who's going to win the next election? Dig into the Twitter trends.

There are many tools and techniques for measuring and plotting activity and "sentiment" on Twitter. I'm going to show you a few of my "go to" tools when I want to get a quick read on something in popular culture.

The first one is my favorite. TWITTERVENN

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That's a plot of the tweets over the last 24 hours and how three different terms relate and overlap. I was looking to get an idea of how much the online world was talking about the current modern browsers. (If you're still using IE, regardless of what Microsoft wants you to believe, you are not part of the modern browser world.) If you want to see what people are talking about it's CHROME. Want to see where things are headed in the browser wars, this TwitterVenn diagram is going to give you a pretty good picture.

Next is one created by the same programmer, Jeff Clark. TWEETSPECTRUM

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Here I was interested in how the Interactive Conference SXSW was trending and crossing over with my favorite Twitter hashtag of all time, "socialmedia."

And one more from Jeff Clark, TWITTERSTREAM GRAPHS

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Here's the stream of the last 1,000 tweets that contained my Twitter ID: jmacofearth. I left off the '@' so it would include mentions and hashtags.

And there are some powerful tools for mining your own stats and tweet stream. TWEETREACH

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And more data than you could want to know about your tweeting habits:  TWEETSTATS

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There are a few tools you can use to define and refine your Tweetstream. You need to learn what #hashtags are working in your space. And if you find one you like, learn how to craft your tweets around that audience. And then DO IT.

My hashtags are #socialmedia #twitter #marketing and #foodie. What are yours?

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)
permalink: http://uber.la/2013/03/plotting-twitter/

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