OK, I admit it. I have a slight Twitter tool addiction. I'm not even that addicted to Twitter itself – I just love a lot of the tools coming out that extract data from Twitter or allow you to interact with it in a new way. The latest on my radar: Mentionmap. Rather than give you a list of mentions (instances where others on Twitter refer to you directly or you refer directly to them) like all the other Twitter clients out there, Mentionmap shows you the relationships.
Go to http://apps.asterisq.com/mentionmap/# and enter your Twitter name to get a quick view of your "conversation" graph. That's all you have to do to get it started.
Right away, you're probably thinking, OK, so this app is pretty cool but what's the practical use? In other words, cool info, great looking graph, but what do I do with this?
Well, first, you can actually type in any user's name, such as @barackobama or @anotheragentinyourcity and see their mention graph. In the case of the agent in your city, seeing the mentions and conversational relationships this person has on Twitter can help you find relevant conversations to engage in or people to follow who likely share your interests.
The tool now acts as a discovery engine.
Use case #2 would be to click on a hashtag that appears within the conversation graph. If you checked out yourself or another agent in your city, there's probably a real-estate related hashtag within the graph like #yourcityrealestate. Click on that hashtag and you'll see other folks who've used it in recent Twitter conversations. These are people you'd also want to follow and possibly get to know. Don't just be a stalker, though. Look for relevant ways to contribute to the conversation.
I found that Mentionmap was more interesting that just doing simple searches. I liked seeing the relationships in a visual presentation. So for very little commitment (you don't even have to sign up or create an account), it's worth having a little fun with. Check it out and see where it leads you.