It’s time for another in our occasional series of search tool roundups, but this one is more focused than previous articles: Rather than look at a variety of random search tools, I’ll introduce you to a handful of Twitter search tools that may have flown under your radar until now. You’ll learn how to search the bios of other Twitter users, how to search deeper into Twitter’s archives, and how to find jobs advertised on Twitter. But first, an interesting Twitter search tool with potentially serious local search implications.
Schmap: Trending Restaurants & Bars
The Schmap Picks: Trending Restaurants & Bars search tool lets you see the collected tweets about restaurants and bars in 13 cities around the world. For any of the 13 cities, you can browse by category (pizza/burgers, seafood/sushi, etc.) and even by district/neighborhood. Here’s a screenshot showing trending eateries in the downtown Seattle area:
For each establishment, you can click to see all of the tweets (“opinions”) in the Schmap system, which effectively creates a Twitter landing page for local restaurants and bars. Here’s the opinion page for one restaurant:
It makes for an interesting slice of opinion about local restaurants, complete with address and location plotted on a map — sort of a Twitter-based version of Yelp or Citysearch, though I’m assuming not as comprehensive as those well-established local directories. The pages are crawlable and have very SEO-friendly URLS, so it’s not hard to imagine these pages eventually ranking for some restaurants.
Areaface is one of several tools that lets you search for Twitter users in a specific city or town. When you visit the site, just click anywhere on the map and Areaface will load recent tweets from that location. But there’s a twist: If you want, you can further narrow the results by keyword. This screenshot shows people in the Dallas area tweeting about U2 (the band plays a concert there tonight).
You can see each person’s tweet by putting your mouse over their avatar. The results are fairly up-to-date, too: The most recent tweet captured in the search above was published within an hour of my search.
A site that does exactly what its name implies: let’s you search jobs that have been advertised via Twitter. TwitterJobSearch.com says it gets around the 140-character limitation by using natural language tools to process tweets, then crawls pages that have been linked and associates the job listing data it finds back to the original tweet.
Search results can be sorted by date or relevance, and there are several filters including the date of the job posting, the job title, job type, salary, location, and more. A cool beta feature plots the job-related tweets on a map.
Searchtastic is a new Twitter search engine that, unlike Twitter’s own search, can search quite a ways back into “historical” tweets — further into the archives, in other words. Searchtastic is limited by the Twitter API, though, and readily admits that it can’t index all tweets. Although it’s not necessary, the site suggests that you’ll get better search results when you specify a username. Here’s a screenshot showing tweets indexed (and returned) from as far back as mid-July:
A unique feature is that any word on the search results can be clicked to add it to your search query.
If you’re looking to connect with like-minded Twitter users, doing a basic keyword search on recent tweets may not produce the kind of results you want. Search for “seahawks,” for example, and you’re going to find people in Jacksonville tweeting about the way their team was demolished Sunday by the Seattle Seahawks. TweepSearch skips the content of tweets and instead searches the bios of Twitter users. So, a search for “seahawks” produces much better results:
You can sort the results by screen name, or by the number of followers/friends each user has.
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