PostPost helps you find the tweets you want

The more you use Twitter, the more overwhelming the micro-blogging service can be. That’s because the more you’re on the service, posting more information, following more folks, and consuming more information, well, it can all quickly become too much.

That’s when finding the information that matters to you can become nearly impossible. But not when you use PostPost: This free service has found a way to dig through the chaos of Twitter to bring you content that’s personally relevant to you.

PostPost began its life as a social search engine, but has narrowed its focus to Twitter, and now bills itself as a “personal social search tool for Twitter.” Its latest update is its most dramatic yet, adding the new “Timeline Topline” feature, which accumulates the topics, links, photos, and videos from your Twitter timeline that are most relevant to you.

It does this by examining your Twitter account: Looking at your Tweets, your timeline, and the people you follow. PostPost determines which people you mention the most and then, of all the people you follow, who do those people mention this most. These two groups of people–those who are personally relevant and those who are globally relevant–are determined to be the most relevant to you. PostPost uses this group of people (it can be up to 150 people) to deliver relevant content to you.

It may sound confusing, but it works. I created a PostPost account, linked it to my Twitter account, and waited as the service went to work. PostPost tells you it may take a while, and promises to email you when your Topline Timeline is complete. Mine was ready in less than 10 minutes, and it was worth the wait: It presents information to you in a neat, orderly fashion that’s also aesthetically pleasing. At the top, you’ll see a list of popular topics, and links to the folks who are tweeting about them; I found this far more interesting than Twitter’s generic list of trending topics, which I rarely click. Below, that you see a grid of photos, videos, and then links that folks have posted to Twitter.

Not only is the collection of information more relevant than the automated list supplied by Twitter’s own timeline, it’s easier to consume, too: images are shown in their full glory, videos are playable right on the screen, and links are shown in their full glory, almost as they’d appear on their original Web site.

PostPost isn’t perfect: Its interface didn’t always automatically fit in my browser Internet Explorer window, so it sometimes forced me to scroll sideways to see all of the images, even with my resolution set to 1600 by 900. It’s also not always clear what is a hyperlink and what isn’t. While I’m glad PostPost doesn’t automatically make all links a garish shade of blue, I do wish they were easier to discern from plain text. Initially, I thought it was strange that all of the photos I saw were called “Details”–until I realized that that wasn’t the name of the photo, but instead a link to more information about the snapshot.

It’s also possible that PostPost could miss someone who’s important to you. Its process for determining who’s most relevant to you is automated, and it’s completely conceivable that you may value someone more than the service’s algorithm realizes. You can’t manually add someone to its list; it would be nice if you could customize its display, as Facebook lets you do with its timeline feature. But the folks at PostPost say their service is meant to be used as a complement to Twitter, not as a client that replaces the service itself. And when used together, Twitter and PostPost will make sure you have all of your bases covered.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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