FollowBlast Allows Twitter Users to Connect Based on #Hashtags

It was the greatest thing at Blog Indiana 2010: someone on the stage mentioned BlastFollow.com as a way to follow a lot of people who were all using a specific hashtag, like, say #BIN2010. Everyone in the room immediately went to BlastFollow on their laptop and started using it.

Unfortunately, BlastFollow went away after Twitter upgraded their system, not allowing non-OAuth access to the API, blocking 3rd party apps that let you mass follow and unfollow people, and insert other geek mumbo-jumbo here; I can’t recall everything. TweepML.org was a suitable replacement for a while, until they shut down in October the site to make some repairs, promising to get the system back up two weeks later. It’s early April, and they’re still not back up.

FollowBlast.com is the new hashtag find-and-follow tool from my friends Noah Coffey (@NoahWesley) and Chuck Gose (@ChuckGose), and is something they just completed earlier this week.

I had a chance to check FollowBlast out right after the Indianapolis Social Media Brekafast, using the hashtag #indysm.

FollowBlast.com lets you find and follow other Twitter users based on their #hashtags.

FollowBlast.com lets you find and follow other Twitter users based on their #hashtags.

The way FollowBlast works is that it pulls up the 50 most recent tweets that used that particular hashtag, and it lets you follow those people, either selecting them one at a time, or allowing you to mass follow those 50 people. (That’s how they get around the limits Twitter has placed on mass following/unfollowing.)

While the product is still very new, and has a few bugs to work out, it’s a great tool, especially if you go to a conference or event you’re not familiar with. It’s ideal for people who have newly joined Twitter and have an interest in a particular idea or event.

My one word of caution to FollowBlast users is that you do not use the Follow All link until you have checked out the results first. The first time I did it, I unintentionally followed someone I did not want to and had to go back and unfollow them.

The tool is supposed to filter out people you’re already following, but that wasn’t the case for my results, as most of them ended up being people I was already following. However, knowing Noah and Chuck, I’m sure that will be fixed soon.

FollowBlast has a promising future as a very useful tool for special event and conference attendees. It’s filling a very big hole that BlastFollow and TweepML have left, and as FollowBlast grows and improves, it’s going to become indispensable.

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    About Erik Deckers

    Erik Deckers is the President of Pro Blog Service, a content marketing and social media marketing agency in Indianapolis, IN. He co-authored three social media books, including No Bullshit Social Media with Jason Falls (2011, Que Biz-Tech), and Branding Yourself with Kyle Lacy (2nd ed., 2012; Que Biz-Tech), and The Owned Media Doctrine (2013, Archway Publishing). Erik has written a weekly newspaper humor column for 10 papers around Indiana since 1995. He was also the Spring 2016 writer-in-residence at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, FL.

    Comments

    1. All the credit goes to Noah for this one. I just egged him on.