Hey, Dave! Is there any way to find people that twitter in a local area – like your buds in Colorado? I’d love to find someone to have coffee with occasionally here in Key West.
You’re right to suspect that in my home town, Boulder, Colorado, there are a scary number of people who are using Twitter and are veritable social butterflies, myself among them. In a rather remarkable way, the group coalesces at local cafes for spontaneous meetups or, as we call them, “tweetups”, then everyone wanders off into their own world.
This works because we have already created the network through our own social groups and because of terrific local events like Boulder Open Coffee and Brainjam, but even without those, it turns out that you can search the profiles of Twitter users for geographic keywords.
For example, the site underwent a subtle redesign recently and the very top of your web-based Twitter home page looks like this now:
I type in “Boulder” and get 392 matches. That’s pretty darn good considering that this is a small college town and that the only matches are those from people who self-identify with the word “Boulder” in their profile or description!
At this point, be discerning and notice that some people update with some frequency (and some have no life and just Twitter, but we won’t talk about that) while others, well, check this out:
Dmitry might be a terrific chap, but he’s not worth following on Twitter when his last Tweet was 11 months ago. He’s not going to meet me for coffee, needless to say.
You can also use Google for these sort of searches. Try searching for “Boulder twitter” and see what comes up (or your home town instead, of course).
Finally, the best way to find other people who twitter is to make it widely known that you’re sucked into the vortex yourself: activity breeds followers. So add something to your business card, put something on your company home page, or even etch some coconuts for exotic drinks at the local bar, hire a skywriter, whatever.
Or do what I do: write about Twitter then make sure to include a link to your Twitter profile hoping people will follow you, or at least realize that this site has lots of Twitter help.