ScoutZen lets you sync your scout results to Twitter lists. This feature has been getting increasingly popular, and we have made some changes to make it efficient while giving users full control over what gets synced. The improved sync policy enables several interesting use cases, which we will describe in more detail below.

Introducing Starred Results

As you might have noticed, we have spruced up the scout results page. Instead of one profile per row, on desktop and tablet form factors, each row displays three mini-card style profiles.

Profile Cards

This new approach lets us achieve several UX goals:

  1. Increased information density. Everything about a particular profile can be taken in quickly in a few hundred pixels, without having to scan the whole screen.
  2. Layout consistency. Profile fields are always in expected places without wrapping or extending horizontally or vertically, despite variations in field length or their absence.
  3. Logical grouping. Links for profile lookup and follow are adjacent, while ScoutZen actions are clustered together. This also benefits from and contributes to layout consistency.
  4. More available actions. Finally, this redesign allows us to place two new features within easy access: a) Display matching tweets and b) Star selected results.

Mark With a Star

Each profile includes a star as the first action at the top right. Use it to mark people who you consider important or want to find easily. An already starred profile simply shows an orange star instead of a clickable button. These “starred results” can be easily accessed by selecting “Starred” from the Actions dropdown.

Within the Starred results listing, any item can be “Unstarred” if you no longer want it marked special.

Making Lists

Starring results is thus a great way to organize people for follow-up. In effect, you can conveniently build a list within the scout results, with a quick indication (star) that you have done so.

So its only natural that you would want to turn these starred results in to a Twitter list. If you have not done so yet, check out our primer on Twitter lists and their many benefits.

Syncing to Twitter List

ScoutZen has long had support for syncing results to Twitter lists. As described earlier, syncing results to Twitter lets you see the list timeline and tweets in your favorite Twitter client.

Setting up the sync is easy, either via scout settings, or directly from the starred results page.

Sync Settings

As before, start by providing the Twitter list name. If the list does not exist, it is created automatically. Newly created lists can be specified to be public or private as appropriate. The sync can be temporarily disabled, but generally you would start by checking “Enable Sync” and save the settings.

ScoutZen will then schedule an initial sync in the background. This will create the list and add previously starred results as members. After that, any starred items will be quickly and incrementally added to the Twitter list. Conversely, unstarred items will be removed from the Twitter list.

Sync Policies

  1. If the specified Twitter list does not exist, it is created.
  2. If the Twitter list exists, its attributes are not changed.
  3. After finding or creating the Twitter list, ScoutZen tracks the list by its list id. You are free to rename the list on Twitter, and ScoutZen will update its name to reflect the change.
  4. If you change the Twitter list name via ScoutZen sync settings, it does not rename the existing list. Rather, it finds or creates a Twitter list with the new name.
  5. During initial sync, pre-existing members of a Twitter list are not purged. The sync will add starred results to the Twitter list.
  6. Members are only removed from Twitter list if they are Unstarred in ScoutZen.
  7. The sync is subject to rate limits and undocumented throttling. A large initial sync might take several days to get all members added.

With these policies, it is possible for multiple scouts to sync to one Twitter list. Starred items from all the different scouts will be added to the list. Unstarred items will be removed, provided they are not starred in other scouts syncing to the same list.

Of course, as before, every scout can sync to its own Twitter list. The target list can be changed at any point, in which case the new list will be initialized with all previously starred results.

One more thing…

For search scouts, you can view the tweet which led to the match and inclusion within the scout results.

See Matching Tweet

We believe these changes will let you curate Twitter list members more effectively, while being selective and increasing awareness. In particular, you can star results in conjunction with the search and sort features. For example, find people with a keyword, sort them by number of followers, review their profile at a glance and star them. Its easy to star hundreds of items within a few minutes, while gleaning a lot of understanding about the results.

Syncing to Twitter lists is just one more way ScoutZen can help you with marketing and outreach. Stay tuned for more news on this and other features!