Applying analytics to twitter remains a challenge. I had breakfast with a senior executive from a fortune 50 (actually, a Dow 30) company today and this topic came up. There are a lot of point solutions that help you discover interesting things about what is happening on twitter, but none of these tools provides you with capabilities to measure anything but raw data. The bane of analytics solutions is when they operate as reporting tools… telling you what something is instead of what it means. This will remain an emergent area for companies pushing tools like Twollow but they will have little penetration into the corporate executive suite because they fail to function in an integrated fashion or integrate with other dashboard measurement systems that are already in use.
Twollow is new simple tool that automatically follows people based on keywords or phrases that those people mention. Think of it like Google Alerts but for twitter. It’s an interesting idea but sometimes people will mention keywords or topics that aren’t really representative of their industry. For example you can be in the technology industry and then one day you casually mention “cookies” in one of your tweets. It also doesn’t look like the system keeps track of who the new followers are.