Tips For Using Twitter To Do Research

I know I seem to post quite a bit about Twitter, but I just can’t help it.  When you find something that you love, and loves you back – you have to obsess over it!  I have been starting to use Twitter more lately for research, and getting answers to questions that have been on my mind, as well as on the minds of either people I teach or clients – or just for things I want to blog about at a later date.

Delicious Questions Answered By Twitter Users
Delicious Questions Answered By Twitter Users

Last Friday, when I was presenting a webinar, a client asked me if I still used Delicious?  I thought because two people had asked me the same question it was worth a post, as well as seeing if I could do a little more research. I still do use Delicious, but my use has gone way down since getting into Twitter, and a few other social networks more heavily – IMO its just an easier way to share the links I like on Twitter, and keep track of things on a much funner platform.  I mostly just use Delicious when someone I know wants a bookmark, or if I am doing some advanced research for viral marketing or what not.  I hardly ever bookmark anything of my own anymore, or have other people.  I just never saw much out of it in the form of link love or traffic.

However; I still wanted to know what other people in industries related to mine, and the people who follow me on Twitter felt about Delicious.

Today I took my question to Twitter – Does anyone here on Twitter still even use Delicious?

Within seconds I received my answers: talk about instant research!

  • dan_patterson @Matt_Siltala i do for stuff that i want to make sure i can find again later. i find delicious is better for that than stumble.
  • DarlaDixon @Matt_Siltala is one of the sites I just haven’t had time to play with…it’s also hard to remember where all those periods go
  • dasearch @Matt_Siltala I defintiely do, but I must admit my usage has gone way down
  • DavidWallace @Matt_Siltala I use Delicious once in awhile but mostly at the request of someone else.

One of my friends on Twitter didn’t even know that they officially changed from to and made the joke they finally caught up to 2005 by making that switch.  I first heard about, and started using Delicious back in Feb. 2006 after hearing about them at SES New York.  The problem is the panel presenting didn’t teach me how to really use Delicious properly (I have my doubts they even knew), and after some trial and error I finally figured it out only to get bored and realize it wasn’t a good fit for me with what I do – especially with all of the cooler social networks out there that I was exploring at the time – that were in fact doing me a lot of good in terms of link love and traffic.

I am not saying Delicious is no good anymore, or has no use. I am sure there are those who love it, and have great tutorials for it.  I would love for them to comment here, and let all of us know what is so great about it – and give us some ideas.  I feel that I know all about it, and how I use it and what it did for me, but I have never talked with any other SEO (or Internet marketer) about it being a powerful source of traffic, or for getting links.  Maybe the only thing I have ever seen it help with is getting, or keeping pages indexed, but there are many easier ways of going about that.  Even when I had something hit the popular page of Delicious, the traffic I saw was nothing compared to Digg, Stumble Upon, or even Reddit.

Again, all this sparked my interest and wanting to know what people in Twitter world felt about Delicious now-a-days, and I think my feeling of Delicious were somewhat backed up by my fellow Twitterers.  I think Delicious had potential before Yahoo got a hold of it, but like with so many other things that Yahoo touches – it got destroyed, people lost faith – and eventually stopped using it as much.  I pose the question – Can it be saved?

What to take from this?

What I take from doing research on Twitter is something solid I can bring back to the people who asked me the questions in the first place.  I can give them an honest answer and honest opinion of Delicious from other users. These people I teach, or clients I have are usually stressed out enough about all the new stuff I am showing them, and have no time to experiment with social networks that don’t work.  Lets stick with the social networks that are not ghost towns like Cameron said in a previous Q&A post.   I can tell them which ones to use, and which ones to avoid (maybe at first).  This also should give you some good ideas that people on Twitter are willing to interact with you, and give you feedback.  You can conduct polls, do product research, and get the questions that you have answered.  Just another great use of Twitter!

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