Tool tracks Twitter conversations

The development of applications surrounding social media tools such as Twitter is seemingly endless. However, the development of Milwaukee-based Spreenkler’s TwitterLens enables individuals and companies to virtually “listen in” on conversations anywhere in the world, and allows them to do it in an organized, easy to monitor manner.

“We developed TwitterLens in order for people using social media sites like Twitter to take following the conversation one step further,” said Steve Glynn, president of Spreenkler. “With the Twitter Search mechanism people are able to see the conversation surrounding one topic, but with TwitterLens they are able to see the conversation in a more organized fashion. (For example,) who is leading the conversation, and the ability to search it over a specific period of time.”

TwitterLens users are able to create a lens using key words for any specific period of time and location and see a trend cloud pop up displaying the conversations that took place during that time.

“The lens cloud portrays the topics, individuals and links related to the key words that were used the most during the specified period of time,” Glynn said. “Individuals can see the words listed from most frequently used to sometimes used, or even other individuals’ names that are leading the conversation. Users can then click on those cloud tags to view the actual tweets and conversation.”

Glynn and the site developer, Brennan Stehling, say the tool becomes most useful to companies when they are researching additional marketing strategies and ideas.

“Companies should be able to track the conversation on Twitter after an event, or after an announcement is made,” Stehling said. “Using the lenses allows companies to identify more clearly what is being said, and more importantly who is saying it. Those individuals may very well be branding agents for your company.”

Identifying those brand agents, either positive or negative, can be really beneficial to a company, Stehling said.

“Using TwitterLens, a company can identify which individuals on Twitter are talking the most about their brand,” Stehling said. “They can identify what they are saying about a product, event or service and either utilize them to spread the word, or if it’s a negative conversation they can attempt to fix the problem and turn the conversation into positive feedback for the company.”

Right now, TwitterLens only pulls conversations from Twitter, but Stehling hopes that in the future Spreenkler can design the site to be more encompassing of other social media sites as well.

“Right now, Twitter is where it is at,” Stehling said. “But eventually we’d like to be able to categorize the clouds to say where the conversation is coming from, Twitter, You Tube, blogs, blog comments, etc.”

Users are able to sign up for TwitterLens for free at They can create up to three lenses that track information retroactively.

Companies can view the cloud, and record data that way or they can download a meta file of the information that can be printed and transposed into graphs, charts or reports to allow for tracking over a longer period of time.

“Right now the service is free, because we want to get the word out that it exists and generate interest,” Glynn said. “Eventually we will most likely customize the platform specifically to individual company needs, and be able to present reports on the data to them directly for a fee.”

Innovation: Online Twitter conversation tracking tool

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