Twitter Cruft Remover: I Needs It

I was reading an article in Search Engine Journal on Friday about how to unclutter a Twitter stream. The tools sound interesting (I especially want to try ReadTwit) but I have yet to find a tool that does something simpler, something I don’t think is unreasonable. Maybe I’ve just missed it?

When I read a tweetstream I want to get pointers to interesting links, follow some conversations, and have a heads-up on news. And for the most part I get that (I follow lots of cool people!) But it’s getting increasingly difficult with what I’m calling cruft — extra bits that clutter up my stream and don’t add anything to the conversation.

Mostly I’m talking about things like FourSquare checkins, automated notes about what music one is listening to, and to a lesser extent TwitPic tweets. But there’s no way that I know that I can leave those out of my stream. Even Facebook lets you block applications!

Here’s what I’d love to see: a Twitter application that lets you log in and then use a series of checkboxes to specify things you don’t want to see in your tweetstream. You could eliminate everything I mentioned above, and also things like all tweets with links (by filtering out http://) or all tweets without links (by filtering *in* http://) or traditional retweets that start with RT.

Advanced features would include the ability to filter out words for a certain period of time. For example, maybe I don’t want to hear about the iPad for the next week (I’m sure it’s lovely, Apple fans, I’m just feeling a bit overloaded with iPad hype at the moment.) I could use the Twitter Cruft Remover to keep iPad mentions out of my stream for a week. Such a feature would also come in handy around the times of major sporting events, award ceremonies, and OMG-Jesse-James-Oh-No-You-Didn’t.

With ListiMonkey I can do this to a certain extent while monitoring Twitter lists, but there’s a limit to how many things I can exclude and I can’t do it to my own tweetstream. Is there any app that does this? If you know about one, drop me a note at newsletter at researchbuzz dot com.

Update: I wrote this on Saturday morning. Sunday evening after I spent the weekend playing around with making the Twitter firehose a little more drinkable, I found this decluttering solution in my filtered-down tweetstream. It’s a JavaScript solution and looks great! The only thing about it is that it only works at the interface. Check it out.

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