The fastest way to search Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

I Type 2000 Words A Minute... Uh Yeah
I Type 2000 Words A Minute… Uh Yeah by Bill Shaner licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

If you write about or follow breaking news in 2015, you need to know how to quickly search social media. Every second counts, especially when have to try many search words or phrases. On a laptop or desktop computer, one of the quickest ways to search Twitter, Facebook or any network is to use Chrome’s address bar.

If you don’t already use Google’s browser, download Chrome now. There, that’s better.

Google calls its address bar the “omnibox,” presumably because it does so much. For example, if you type words into that box and hit Enter, Chrome will bring you to a Google search engine results page. That magic box even works as a basic calculator for the math-challenged reporter.

I’ll show you how you can teach that omnibox to search Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Continue reading

Google, please personalize search with these 38 social items

Google started personalizing everyone’s search results last week. This week, they added real time search. If they get social, they can make make search really personal. Here is the start of what I would want integrated into a personalized search algorithm:

  1. Twitter: Pages that I’ve linked to
  2. Twitter: Pages that my friends have linked to
  3. Twitter: My lists
  4. Delicious: My bookmarks
  5. Delicious: My network
  6. Delicious: My network’s bookmarks
  7. Google Reader: My subscriptions
  8. Google Reader: My tags
  9. Google Reader: Items I’ve liked
  10. Google Reader: Items shared by people I follow
  11. Google Reader: Items I’ve starred
  12. Google Reader: Items I’ve shared
  13. Google Reader: Items I’ve commented on
  14. Vimeo: My likes
  15. Vimeo: Channels (topics) that I subscribe to
  16. Vimeo: Groups (communities) that I belong to
  17. Vimeo: My contacts
  18. Vimeo: My videos
  19. Vimeo: My albums
  20. YouTube: My favorites
  21. YouTube: My subscriptions
  22. YouTube: My playlists
  23. YouTube: My videos
  24. Songs that I’ve blipped
  25. Songs that my favorite DJs have blipped
  26. My playlist
  27. My favorite DJs’ playlists
  28. My library
  29. Music recommended by
  30. My listened tracks
  31. My top artists
  32. My top tracks
  33. My tags
  34. My groups
  35. My loved tracks
  36. My friends’ activity
  37. Friendfeed: My feed
  38. Friendfeed: My friends’ feeds

Each of those items mean more to me than popular, or “trending,” topics from social networks.

Of course, this is just the beginning. A socially personalized search should also include Facebook and LinkedIn activity. For me, Social Median and Publish2 would be helpful.

What about you? What social media factors would improve your search results?

Should real-time search results end?

Journalists have traditionally decided when a story ends, taking into consideration the amount of new information, open questions, public interest and a slew of other factors.

But when do stories powered by streams of information end? Each image below links to news about President Barack Obama and the Nobel Prize, as gathered by real-time search engines. These engines are the closest thing to my storystreaming concept.

The story last week was that Obama won the prize. Is that story done? Do the streams below advance the story or reveal new ones? Would it be a good idea to stop streams once a story is done? Would an archive of such streams be useful? Could those archives be edited to become another encyclopedic resource? Should people not expect real-time search to provide relevant information after a story is over?

Please help me answer these questions before I discuss the storystreaming concept with Daniel HonigmanMark Krynsky and Mona Nomura on Wednesday at the 140 character conference.

Now, for the real-time search results about last week’s story:


OneRiot results for obama nobel


Scoopler results for obama nobel


Topsy results for obama nobel


Twazzup results for obama nobel

Topsy finds Twitter users who share links related to your beat

While the Twitter vs. Google debates rage on, a group of 42 mice have combined the best of both worlds and created a new search engine called Topsy. Type a couple of words into Topsy and it will return a list of web pages ranked by how many times they were linked to on Twitter, and who did the linking.

I’ll point you over to TechCrunch for details about Topsy. Let’s dive right into how it can help you find Twitter users to follow, based on their proclivity to share links related to the topic you cover.

Let’s say you report on health issues and are working on a story about gastric bypass surgery. Here are Topsy’s results for “gastric bypass.”

Topsy results for gastric bypass

Each result shows what Topsy believes to be the title of the page, its web address, the number of times it has been linked to from Twitter, and a sample of those tweets.

Top Twitter gastric bypass authorsBut enough about the search results. I’ll leave that review to other bloggers.

Focus your attention to the list of “top authors” on the right side of the results page. It shows Twitter users who have linked to pages about gastric bypass.

That list includes people who claim (on their Twitter pages) to be a personal fitness trainer, a fitness blog, a health and diet advocate, and even a company that “pioneered cosmetic tourism.” And most of them frequently tweet about fitness and health issues.

If health or fitness is your beat, you should follow these people. Don’t follow blindly, though. Review each person’s Twitter stream and only add people whose tweet are on point.

For finding links, the people on that list are probably more useful “friends” than the five people who tagged themselves with #gastricbypass on WeFollow. And it was quicker and easier to find them than searching through the 320 users listed in Just Tweet It’s health & wellness directory.

Twitter directories serve their purpose, to find people who tweet about a certain topic. But if you are looking for people who frequently share links  related to a particular subject, Topsy can be a great place to start.

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