Do you star tweets? I know I don’t star enough. But there may be a reason to do so, if you want to get more out of your Twitter experience.
Starring your own tweets provides you with your own list of curated content. If you haven’t already noticed, there is a little star to the right on every tweet on Twitter web (and similar options on third party Twitter clients). It looks like this:
If you click that star on a tweet, it will show up in a list made up of your starred tweets. The benefit, of course, is that you can then go back and quickly find the tweets you liked.
If you have the sneaky suspicion that you are not getting at all the good stuff out there, check out Favstar.fm. Favstar.fm is all about the stars. Twitter stars – not stars on Twitter (although more on that later). Favstar.fm (link here) is a third party Twitter application that views Twitter by stars. On their web page, you can see the most starred tweets, the most starred Twitter users, your list of starred items and various permutations of filtering based on your starred tweets and others’ starred tweets.
Assuming that only the good stuff gets starred, this could be an effective way of browsing for the best items out there as reflected in the popular voting process of starring. The leaderboard shows you the most recently starred, most stars of all time, popular people who have received the most stars, and users who favstar.fm bonus (paid) subscribers have boosted.
If you log in with your Twitter account, you can see your own tweets that have been favorited and by whom. If you follow Favstar.fm on Twitter, then it can crawl your stream and get further details on your favorite tweets. This might be Favstar.fm’s best use at the moment.
A plus for Favstar.fm is that you can curate right from the Favstar.fm home page – to the right of the popular tweets are buttons that allow you to star a tweet, promote a single Tweet of the Day (paid bonus feature) or retweet. The buttons look like this:
But, as you can see, with the exception of the bonus “tweet of the day” feature, these are the same buttons you find right on the Twitter web interface shown above.
Word of caution: people on Twitter appear to be curiously attracted to fluffy tweets. If you only browse the surface of Favstar.fm, you are sure to get to the funny and the profane. If you want to make Favstar.fm work for you in a more, say, professional sense, you need to drill down a bit. For example, if you really want to leverage power curation, check out Robert Scoble’s own favstar.fm Twitter list (link here) to get a list of his most favorited Twitter users. I recommend you browse through the people label and dig down into these lists.
Another problem though is that Favstar.fm only has three categories – Funny, Entertaining and Insightful; Tech and Social Media; and Celebrity. Since I am interested in tech, the second category is pretty much the only useful category for me. If you drill down into this list, you can find some interesting tweets and Twitter uses.
Third problem – you have to pay to get more than the first page of any given label tab. So, scrolling down the leaderboard only gives you the top 20 tweets. Take a look at that list and you will surely find something funny, but maybe not so informative.
For me, Favstar.fm is an interesting, entertaining take on Twitter. However, in its current iteration, it is not the power tool that I would use for Twitter curation, particularly for more precise filtering, such as market segments or professional groupings, like legal. It presumes I am most interested in celebrities and funny men (and women). And too much functionality is left for the paid users. Right now, it doesn’t offer enough beyond Twitter’s own starring functionality – save for finding who has starred your tweets – to really warrant me spending much time there.
If it still piques your interest, check out the video below. Favstar.fm has promise that has yet to be fulfilled, but maybe it will …
I’m a fan of favstar just b/c it’s an easy way to see who is favoriting what tweets. It’s focused on the lighter tweets for sure as far as just surfing tweets. (It is incredible how many favorites certain tweets get.)
One interesting part of favstar is that it seems like there’s a big community of favstar users (they usually have favstar in their Twitter profile). Also, there’s surprisingly little or no media coverage of favstar which is somewhat odd.
I do find it odd as well that it isn’t terribly covered – I literally stumbled on it and haven’t noticed it on the mainstream press. I still like the idea behind it, though, which may or may not have come across in my post. I hope they flesh it out a bit, so it can become a more useful, rather than simply entertaining, tool.