Tweetdeck is a free application that allows you to create "groups" for your Twitter Network. Unlike Twitter, it's search function works. It will allow you to create TinyURL's right from the app screen plus much much more.
Because Twitter's search engine doesn't work very well, I would suggest following these people. And then follow who they follow. @MariSmith, @GuyKawasaki, @JoelComm, @LinkedInExpert, @FreeRangeMom, @DaVinciDeb, @ThomasFrey, @MikeONeilDenver, @DMScott, @KevinHouchin, @DuctTape, @Hubspot, @MVolpe
@Replies or @Name is a way of grabbing someone's attention on Twitter. Because you can get thousands of tweets a day, without a DM or @ reply, you would NEVER know if someone was speaking about or to you. Any time there is a "@" sign before your name, Twitter will let you know. This is PUBLIC , so keep that in mind. If you want to start a conversation without your whole network being dragged into it, use DM (direct Mail)
"Everyone" lets you see – well - everyone on the Twitter Network. Not just those following you or those you are following. This is also a good place to start following people. Then NEVER, I repeat never go back again!!!!