Twitter Search Engines

Twenty two days ago, I asked readers to tweet how they get permission to do stuff using the #getpermission hashtag in Twitter. Yesterday, I remembered that I needed to copy/paste some of those tweets into my How YOU Get Permission post … and failed miserably! Why? Because tweets pretty much disappear after about a week and a half. Technically the tweets are still there – they’re just not found by most search engines, Twitter’s included.

So I did some furious searching, and actually found a few of those hashtag tweets! Which search engines worked?

Here’s a list of Twitter search engines and what they found. Thankfully, there’s one #getpermission tweet out there right now, so theoretically, every search should at least find that recent tweet. Let’s see what happens!

Found the most recent tweet plus something else:

  • Topsy – found it, plus three others (including the ones I quoted in my last post). You have to click “all time” to get those. It’s obviously NOT all time, or it would have found everything else, too. Not sure what’s up with that. But hey – it’s something!
  • twazzup – found it, plus found my last post, a news article that mentioned “get permission”
  • crowdeye – found it plus one other, plus my blog post.

Found the most recent tweet only:

And finally, search engines that found nothing – not even the most recent tweet:

  • Tweetmeme
  • twitority
  • twitalyzer – this one didn’t search at all – they claimed that Twitter was acting up again, and said “come back later!”
  • yauba
  • tweefind
  • trendistic
  • twittertroll – Interestingly, they said “no results. We suck” when nothing was found. Well … yes, you do!
  • twitterment – This one doesn’t seem to search hashtags. It took my hashtag, separated the words, and ran a search for “get permission”
  • oneriot – this search stripped out the hashtag and found something completely unrelated.
  • twitmatic – dunno. still waiting for the search to complete its “first time indexing” …

So there you have it! Want to find an “ancient” tweet (as in, older than 10 days)? I’d suggest using Topsy or Crowdeye (probably both).

Fun Twitter bird by Marc Benton

CIL2009: A Super Searcher Shares 25 Search Thoughts

Speaker: Mary Ellen Bates

links are at

  • online magazine rack
  • she’s comparing alltop to early yahoo, just add rss!
  • rss aggregator
  • built by “2 guys and a gal”
  • highly selective, well-done

Think about how you can use this in your own organization…

  • visualization and clustering and metasearch…
  • one of those silly swirly visual search thingies (not a fan)
  • claims it’s more immersive feeling
  • You eventually DO get text
  • gives you a choice – viaual, clustered, text, etc… good.

  • adds lexical variants
  • on the fly, you can get:
  • synonym suggestions
  • singular/plural
  • translate terms into other languages
  • does clustering, but only in German
  • interface a bit squirrely

  • a way to skim across web 2.0
  • query example – she did a GTD search…
  • ok. sort of a metasearch for 2.0-ish sites like blogpulse, youtube, twitter, technorati, etc

  • clustering on demand
  • with a choice of sorting algorithms
  • and a choice of search engines
  • cool graphic display
  • looks like the old northern lights search engine! With the folder clustering thing
  • but allows you to choose HOW you want to cluster

  • add prefer:word to query
  • ranks these search results higher
  • a cool way to change the relevance ranking – doesn’t narrow the search

awesome highlighter

  • highlight text on a page
  • saves a copy of the page with a new URL
  • then you can direct others to that page with the highlighted text

textrunner search

  • looks for assertions
  • information mining
  • ex: what kills bacteria in google – lots of stuff. In textrunner, it looks for a sentence with an answer.
  • so it’s looking at the web in a different way. It’s looking at sentence structure instead of focusing on different words

Google Translate

  • translates text into other languages
  • shows text side by side
  • so you drop in search results, it translates your words into words in other languages, then shows the results side by side

Twitter Venn

  • compare frequency of words in twitter
  • generates venn diagram
  • visual way to see this

  • searches all wikipedia articles
  • does a more visual search of it
  • it structures the wikipedia article in a more user-friendly way
  • gives a tag cloud for similar articles
  • lists out recommended articles
  • gives a visual mindmap display of related stuff


  • another visual thing
  • it’s doing clustering

  • federated search (she sped through this one)


  • a tutorial
  • learn to love social media
  • can you:
  • ID the most popular blogs on a topic
  • rank the blog posts
  • eliminate content overload
  • check out the hotness of each post
  • etc
  • Cool – I’ll have to find this and pass it around

How to build a social media cheat sheet for any topic

  • also from readwriteweb

Legal Research Engines

  • cornell law library
  • google custom search engines
  • searches legal stuff


  • aggregated the front pages of newspapers around the world
  • [me – hee. this won’t last much longer]


  • makes a visual tag cloud from text
  • good way to visually see the underlying message or tone of soemthing you read

Google’s search wiki

  • you can comment on search results
  • you can move things around
  • it’s public – your annotations, anyway
  • you can customize your search of google…


  • skipped it


  • it automatically clusters and starts asking you questions


  • looks at wikipedia
  • it’s a sense-making search engine
  • does clustering, looks for sentences similar to your search

  • beta search engine
  • lets you weight your search results
  • looks like a search/tag cloud – you can change the weights visually by changing the weight of the font. Nice.

get conference buzz

  • bloggers live blog, live tweet, etc
  • So check those things out – technorati, google blog search, twitter search, etc

Google audio indexing

  • speech to text indexing

Google Maps Mashups

  • very interesting map mashups!