Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Follow Top Business Execs On Twitter With ExecTweets

Ever wonder what executives at your favorite company are Tweeting about but can't find them on Twitter. Now there is an answer, an easy to use very friendly third party site called ExecTweets.

ExecTweets sorts through the 100's of 1000's of executives and aggregates the Twitter conversations into industry verticals like Healthcare, Technology, Retail, Media/Advertising and more. This mashup of Twitter conversations features several top level execs from some of our favorite companies like Nigel Dessau from AMD, Richard Binhammer from Dell, Padmasree Warrior from Cisco, Digg's Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson, and of course Twitter's very own Evan Williams. The list is extensive and growing daily with more and more execs being added or nominated all the time.

The site is owned and operated by Federated Media in conjunction with Microsoft who reportedly put up sponsorship dollars in exchange for some advertising rights. Reportedly this is one of the first money makers for Twitter as FM and MS are supposedly paying for inclusion into Twitters new widget box as well as a prominent display within the site. The new widget box has featured many new third party sites and apps of late including Twittervision and Tweetie. As for ExecTweets Twitter began promoting the new service with their latest blog post providing Tweeters an introduction to the new site.

Checking out the site, a short review:

Overall the site has a good clean look. It has a simple layout and pretty nice design. The Execs are broken up by industry which makes it easy to narrow down the list according to area of interest. However there is no further break down such as an alphabetical listing by name or a listing by company. So you are stuck searching through Tweets and in some case tracking down the usernames and either searching Twitter or Googling to see what companies they actually work for.

exectweets screenshot
Case in point GWeston - Graham Weston Chairman of RackSpace. Neither his Twitter page or the ExecTweets page tell you who he is or who he works for. In fact had I not know who he was I would have thought he was a random guy that nominated himself for inclusion into the listing.

The site features a few other options, hot links, hot topics, most popular (exec) and recently recommended executives. The hot links section is based on a voting system presumably by votes for each Tweet. A link to Richard Branson's site Business Stripped Bare is currently #1 by a wide margin. The second and third links are tinyurls, which aren't decoded so you don't know what they are until you click them. Another complaint I'd add to the list.

Overall I'd say the site is off to a good start, it is still in "beta". As I mentioned there are a few areas that I think they need to work on. Providing some sort of listing of all of the execs would be nice. They have a short list in the about section but once they expand that list they'll need a better break down. Automatic decoding of shortened url's is another must have feature they need to work on. I hate nothing more than to click a blind link, also a complaint of many on Twitter.

For now I'll stick to the old fashioned way of keeping track of my favorite execs, using Twitter only.

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