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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Using Boolean Searching On Twitter

Twitter Search

Twitter search is fairly straightforward. Because it is real time Boolean Searching String capable however, don't expect to get number of results since that's fairly pointless in this situation. Just expect to get results from the last few seconds back, and you get the full tweet.

Twitter Search defaults to AND, and it recognizes the “OR” option, and assumes that “NOT” is a search term, although the minus “-“sign works in place of it. Unfortunately phrase searching isn't an option which is a huge bummer, except that there is if you use the advanced search option.

Search Using Hashtags (#) is a useful option. How do we use “#” hashtags Kay?, you may ask. Well, a hashtag such as #sourcecon is a neat and easy way to collate a series of tweets together on one subject, such as the sourcecon conference for example. A search on said hashtag will then result in a series of tweets discussing that subject. This works in both basic and advanced search in the same way, with the same results.

People Search Options Both search options allow search by an individual with the function “from:” so from:Jaxx_Magee provides a result listing all of my tweets, though you could get the same information from my profile page. However, you can then add in other search terms to limit results to my tweets that also contain a particular word. It's possible to search for tweets to a particular person, so to:insert your handle here shows tweets to that handle and adding in more terms limits the search to those tweets that also contain the searched keyword. Finally in this section it's possible to search for references to an individual using the @name option, so @Jaxx_Magee will list replies to me but also Retweets (RT) as well.

Location Search Options The concept is simple, working in both basic/advanced search, you can run a search for your keyword, a location, and a distance. A search for internet near:seattle within:15mi will provide results for the keyword in a radius of 15 miles of Seattle. However, if we run the search globally such as near:londonuk within:15mi we get a response based on London but a some searches results will not find the geocode you are looking for. While not exactly broken, I would have to say that searching by location is not perfect.

Search By Date This option lists Tweets since a particular date using the function since:2009 03 11 (note the global dating system if you're not from here) or before a particular date using the function until:2009 03 12 This works well in both basic and advanced search.

Attitude Searching This is very cool - very simple concept based on the emoticons:)”for positive, :( for negative and ? asking a question. Unfortunately it's not possible to search for other symbols such as $ or % which is a real shame. This is in my opinion pure fun search to break up your day

RSS Feeds Both basic and advanced search options allow for RSS feeds for any search, which is clearly useful. However, only the advanced search option allows for results to be tweeted in turn, for no good reason as far as I can see, other than the discontinuity between search engines.

Posted via email from Kay Kelison's Digital-Log

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