This is a Twitter Profile widget. This is how the majority advertise their Twitter account on their blog or website:

Now this is a Twitter Search widget set to search for my username:

Let’s talk about these two. Similar, obviously. The advantage to the first one is that it highlights your profile and the “Join the conversation” takes you right to my profile. But it’s still easy to find my profile from the second one and, by mixing in comments from the people I’m talking to, there’s much more obvious social engagement in the second version. I also like that it gives some link love to the people who are chatting with me instead of just being all Me Me Me.

For course, the downside to this is that any spammers or otherwise undesirable people referencing your username will show in the second box as well. Knowing how nasty some of those tweet spam links can be, this could trick your poor followers into something bad. How big a problem could this be? You tell me!

Secondly, you have no control over what people are saying. If this was, say, my company name, I could be advertising negative tweets and bad reviews unintentionally.

My personal gut reaction is that the first one is a one-sided news feed while the second is a dynamic two-way conversation that you can jump right into. If I saw these two on someone else’s site, I’d be more likely to jump in and join the discussion if I saw the second box instead of the first.

But I thought I’d put this to you: Which one do you find more effective? Which one makes you more likely to follow the person featured? Would you consider using this in your business?