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HOWTO: Make Twitter Less Noisy

Twitter is a powerful tool for information curation and following the latest breaking stories – but it can get a bit noisy in there if you don’t know how to filter.

Here are a few tips and tricks to reduce the noise on your Twitter feed, so you can focus on the tweets that you care about most.

Maybe you want to hear about the latest political goings on in Washington, but not anything too pundit-y. Or you want stats related to social media usage, without the analysis attached.

It is possible to get this specific on Twitter, and eliminate the noise surrounding the information you really want to read.

Use lists

One of the best ways to cut back on irrelevant tweets is by familiarizing yourself with Twitter lists.

A list can be created by anyone on Twitter, and groups together users who share something in common. By following a certain list you’ll receive all of the tweets from those people on the list and nothing else – meaning you won’t have to suffer through tweets unrelated to the topics that those users tweet about most.

You can create and follow a list of influencers in your niche, politicians, celebrities, your favorite authors or musicians, local businesses and much, much more.

And as a bonus tip, if you add a list to a stream in the dashboard you use (such as HootSuite, TweetDeck or Seesmic), you can treat the tweets from accounts on that list just like your home timeline, and stay up-to-date in real-time.

Turn off hashtags

Hashtags are a fantastic way to organize a conversation, but if you’re not part of that conversation, they can get a little annoying.

If you are frustrated by the proliferation of hashtags related to events and conferences that you’re not attending, or tweets from people participating in a hashtag chat that you couldn’t care less about, you need to learn how to turn them off.

I suggest checking out Proxlet, a third-party Twitter tool that can temporarily or permanently block certain hashtags from appearing in your timeline.

Once you have installed Proxlet, you can easily block a hashtag from your timeline by clicking on that hashtag on Twitter.com. Proxlet can also temporarily block overly-chatty accounts or certain apps (like, say, FourSquare) from spamming your timeline.

Create saved searches

In order to really “follow your interests” as Twitter’s motto would have you do, you’ll need to learn how to create saved searches. These searches will return all of the tweets, in real-time, that include keywords that you define.

This is probably the best way to cut down on Twitter noise, as you are in complete control of what kinds of tweets you see.

By visiting Twitter’s advanced search page, you can input one or several keywords that you want to “listen to” on Twitter, and even define whether the resultant tweets should include links, questions, positive sentiment or other parameters.

Once you’ve come up with a search that returns only tweets that you’re really interested in, you can save this search by clicking the “Save this Search” button in the top right corner of the search results.

Now, whenever you go to Twitter.com, you can view the tweets from this search in your “Searches” folder, or add it to a stream in your dashboard.

Do you have any other tips for making Twitter less noisy? Let us know in the comments below.

(Image courtesy of Rene Jansa via Shutterstock)

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