Posted April 7, 2008 11:57 am by with 6 comments

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Twitter has become adopted enough among social media influencers that you should be monitoring the service daily for reputation attacks.

Want to automate the process? Tweet Scan is a free service that does just that (you can also use

But, how do you know if the Twitter user has the reach and influence to have an impact on your reputation?

Well, first you should look at how many people are following that person. For example, over 1500 Twitter users currently follow my “tweets” on Twitter. If I had something negative to say about your reputation, I’d influence an audience larger than that of many blogs.

Second, you should probably look at the velocity of their Twitter usage and who they’re talking to. Your detractor might not be anyone you’ve heard of, but if they’re talking to an influential blogger or journalist on a regular basis, you should definitely consider them a threat to your good name.

How do you accomplish the latter? You use a service such as TweetStats, which measures a host of interesting stats about any Twitter user. Here are the stats for my Twitter account:

Not only can you see that I’m addicted to Twitter, but you can also monitor who I tweet (talk) with the most.

You can also use a service such as to track Twitter conversations with others.

Consider Twitter a very early warning system. Trust me when I tell you that many conversations you see in blogs, started as a Twitter conversation hours earlier.

UPDATE: Keri Morgret points to proof that at least one company (Comcast) is monitoring Twitter conversations. When TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington griped about Comcast on Twitter, it was listening:

Within 20 minutes of my first Twitter message I got a call from a Comcast executive in Philadelphia who wanted to know how he could help. He said he monitors Twitter and blogs to get an understanding of what people are saying about Comcast, and so he saw the discussion break out around my messages.

(Hat-tip to David Churbuck for bringing TweetStats to my attention)

  • Ok so if companies are monitoring twitter feeds I wonder how long it will be until companies start monitoring feeds of their employees. I’ve heard several people lose their jobs over blogs, I can only imagine how many will be in trouble about tweeting something from work or about work. It’s hard to use these tools with concerns like that. I only started using twitter because my job gives us freedom on the web. They encourage social media but if it were any other job. I’d be fired…


  • Negativity is very subjective. Should someone have the ability to trash anothers name because they didn’t agree with critique?
    Seems to me that the “social network” is getting out of hand.
    Some Jerk decided to place me on a “Spam” list because he /she didn’t like my honest comments!
    Fortunately I don’t give a damn. My business isn’t dependant on traffic or optimisation. But the tendence I find worrying. Most can’t even throw two words together let alone pass judgement on others opinions.
    Thanks for the word. The Baldchemist

  • You could always threaten to slaughter their reputation if you have more followers, that is. 😉

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