Twitter Tip

Yes, we all know that twitter is used as a mini-blogging platform through which you can see what friends, colleagues, peers, strangers, etc. are doing right now.

But, like with many things, it’s even more interesting to take a step back and be able to see the whole picture… By examining the collective, trends quickly become apparent. And search.twitter.com allows you to do just that.

Simply go to the site (search.twitter.com), type in a search term, and you’ll see recent tweets from twitter users that contain the term. In addition to simply browsing through the results, you can also create an RSS feed and/or a twitter post for the results.

For the past couple days, I’ve been searching for “red sox” and it’s been really interesting to eavesdrop on this aggregated conversation. For example, the number of posts that cheer on the Red Sox far outnumber those that mention them unfavorably. What does this mean? That Red Sox fans are more likely to use Twitter than other MLB fans? Or, more likely, simply that Red Sox fans are more passionate about their team winning than non-Red Sox fans are about the Red Sox losing.

Another thing that I really like about the site is that it displays the most frequently twittered terms. This is great for bringing attention to a topic I may have overlooked. Right now, the results are Halloween, Plumber, SNL, Michigan, Liberty Mermorial. The first four make sense to me: Halloween is coming up soon, Plumber is obviously a reference to the presendential debates, SNL is on people’s minds because Sarah Palin will be appearing, and Michigan football is winning a game they were expected to lose. I clicked on “Liberty Memorial” and it turns out that Obama is speaking tonight in Kansas City, Mo, tonight and people are pretty excited. That’s something I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Twitter search really is a great way to quickly see what has people talking, and how those people feel about the topic.