Twitter Search for Bloggers

     As Lisa pointed out, Twitter is a powerful tool for communication.  It can reach thousands of people in just minutes.  Twitter though isn’t just about the instant communication.  Twitter is useful even when you aren’t online chatting.

     Twitter users don’t just share 140 character missives about themselves, but often share news, both personal, local, national and beyond.  This news isn’t just simple notes either.  Many of the messages contain links as well.

     Tools available today make this news accessible to bloggers and others as a resource, even if the blogger isn’t following those providing the news. These tools provide for searching and organizing Twitter messages without using a Twitter client or being at the Twitter website.

     Tweetscan is one of my growing favorites.  Tweetscan is like Google for Twitter.  Type in any search terms and Tweetscan returns messages containing those terms.  It will find public messages, even across people that you don’t follow.  A good example is “Atomic Cowboy”, where the recent St. Louis Bloggers Guild met for a social.  That search returned many tweets related to that event from bloggers across St. Louis.  You get some inside news about what happened and when as well.

     Hashtags is another Twitter search engine.  It narrows things a bit though.  Where Tweetscan searches across all public messages, Hashtags is an opt-in service.  Following hashtags is the only your Twitter messages can be searched.  The searches are also limited to hash tagged keywords.  An example would be checking for messages where #SOBCON08 was included.  Hashtags only returns messages where that string is in the message and from people that agreed to share with Hashtags.

     Quotably provides a third way to look at and follow Twitter messages.  Quotably attempts to follow threads of conversation for a specific Twitter user.  Check out what it shows for Chris Brogan, a rather well known blogger and Twitter user.  This basically shows tweets by the selected individual and the immediate replies to that, as well as replies to those replies.  Threads of conversation can be followed this way.

     All three of these tools provide ready access to news and information at varying levels.  From Tweetscan covering all public messages, to Hashtags being opt-in, and not user specific, down to Quotably, which is all about one user, a blogger has a breadth of search options.  Each of these services highlights popular terms or users, giving insight as to what’s hot.

     Each of these services only searches public Twitter messages. No private or direct messages can be searched.  Still this allows a blogger to quickly find out if someone on Twitter is talking about a specific topic, or what a specific user is saying.  This is a great way to get related links on desired topics or to find experts.  Once you find an expert, using Quatably is one way to see what other conversations that person is having and with whom, making it a great way to find other experts and interested parties.

     There are many other tools, such as Twitter clients, that make Twitter easier to use.  Websites are also springing up that are mashups with Twitter, providing ways to share pictures with a click or crosspost messages across services.  It’s fertile ground for development.

     Are you using Twitter? Come join the bloggers guild there.


4 Responses to “Twitter Search for Bloggers”

  1. […]      Just a quick shout out to an article I posted over at the St. Louis Bloggers Guild, Twitter Search for Bloggers « St. Louis Bloggers Guild. As Lisa pointed out, Twitter is a powerful tool for communication. It can reach thousands of […]

  2. Thanks. One of my biggest complaints about Twitter was that there’s no way to search for a message, and until recently, no way to search for people.

  3. Just a heads up. I finished implementing full text search for hashtags a few days ago, and we’ll be index all tweets pretty soon. If you want we can let you know when we get the beta site up and you can take a look. We love feed back 😀

  4. Kathy – you are quite welcome. Search is getting better for sure. Just see what Brian shared. 🙂

    Brian, Thanks for the heads up about that. I’d be glad to have you drop back here, or to me personally about the beta.

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