If you were a fan of the original GovTwit list, you may be wondering if the new version is trading function for form; gone is the simple spreadsheet-like listing of individuals and agencies and in its place is a slick new interface with tons of features. This post will outline the major features and changes of the new GovTwit format and hopefully make it easier for you to use the new directory.
Search/Tags – Search is the name of the game for the new GovTwit, replacing the simple listing of the original directory. The search feature pulls from words listed in the bio section of each Twitter ID, as well as “Delicious-like” tags. Try using different search terms to find agencies, people or broad catecories. Or select tags from the right hand column and drill down to find the info you want.
Sorting – You can sort search results ascending/descending by Twitter ID or by number of followers.
Trending Topics – You can see trending topics for the entire directory, for returned search and for individuals.
Pictures & Videos – see TwitPic pictures & YouTube videos pulled from directory member tweets.
Tweetstreams & Stats – GovTwit’s new homepage includes a tweetstream featuring key government and Gov 2.0 keywords. Stats such as follower numbers, number of tweets and more are included both at a high-level when searches are returned, and in greater detail when you click on an individual ID to learn more about that particular Twitter account. You’ll also see a tweetstream for each individual account as you drill down, making it easier to decide if that ID is tweeting the type of content that appeals to you. A community ranking feature may be added in the future.
Follow, Retweet, Reply, Share – You’re now able to follow directly from the GovTwit directory, and you’ll also find Retweet and Reply buttons wherever you see a Tweetstream.
Featured IDs – The homepage will feature a rotation of IDs newly added to the directory as well as other interesting IDs under a new “Featured” column. The goal will be to change/rotate those featured on the homepage every couple of weeks.
Blog – Yep, the relaunch includes a new GovTwit blog! Right now the blog is simply logging any additions to the directory that are tweeted by @GovTwit. It may grow and morph as well as a platform for guest posts from various people listd in the GovTwit list. If you’d like to submit a guest post, message Steve Lunceford at Twitter.
Add to Directory – If you know of an Twitter ID that should be added, simply send a tweet to @GovTwit and the ID will be reviewed and added to the list if it’s a fit. A forms-based submission on the GovTwit website will hopefully be added in the future.
**Update 2/2010: You can also click on the “Contact” tab here to send a message requesting an addition to the directory**