Sunday, April 25, 2010

Basic Boolean Search Strings in Twitter

Twitter Search

Twitter search is fairly straightforward. Because it's real time searching that we're doing here, 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 recognises the OR option, but 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 annoying, except that there is if you use the advanced search option.

Search using hashtag (#) is a useful option, as long as you know what tags to use. A hashtag such as #uksnow is a neat and easy way to collate a series of tweets together on one subject, such as a 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.

Language search options. In theory in the advanced search option it's possible to search by language from the pull down menu. In practice this simply doesn't work. I'd expect a search for dog written in Icelandic to produce zero results, but I simply get a set of results containing the word dog. Trying the same search and attempting to limit to other languages also doesn't produce the desired effect. I have to say that I think this option is busted.

People search options. Both search options allow search by an individual with the function from: so from:philbradley 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. Unsurprisingly it's possible to search for tweets to a particular person, so to:philbradley shows tweets to me 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 @philbradley will list replies to me but also Retweets (RT) as well.

Location based search options. This is another oddity. The concept is simple, working in both basic/advanced search, in that you can run a search for your keyword, a location, and a distance. A search for internet near:exeter within:15mi will provide results for the keyword in a radius of 15 miles of Exeter. I think the location is taken from profiles, either as named or as a geo-location (I've seen a few iphone references for example.) This is of course useful, but because it's seemingly based on users, we have a problem here. A location search sometimes appears to result in replies from a person who lives in the same county as the specific location listed. The problem is compounded when two places have the same name, such as Essex in the UK and in the US. Twitter has defaulted to the US variant, and Richmond in Virginia is the default option rather than any of those in the UK. However, if we run the search as near:richmonduk we get a response based on Richmond near Darlington, but a search for near:essexuk results in an error message. While not exactly broken, I would have to say that searching by location is flawed.

Search by date. This option lists Tweets since a particular date using the function since:2009-03-11 (note the American dating system if you're not from those parts) 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 nice indeed - 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.

Tracking conversations. This hardly works at all in Twitter search, and not at all in the basic search option. In advanced search it's sometimes possible to see one avatar overlying another with a 'show conversation' option. This will then attempt to display a conversation between two people, but it doesn't always work since it sometimes displays a link between two individuals, but not necessarily related to a single conversation.

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.


Operator Finds tweets...

twitter search - containing both "twitter" and "search". This is the default operator.
"happy hour" -containing the exact phrase "happy hour".
love OR hate -containing either "love" or "hate" (or both).
beer -root -containing "beer" but not "root".
#haiku -containing the hashtag "haiku".
from:alexiskold -sent from person "alexiskold".
to:techcrunch -sent to person "techcrunch".
@mashable -referencing person "mashable".
"happy hour" near:"san francisco" -containing the exact phrase "happy hour" and sent near "san francisco".
near:NYC within:15mi sent within 15 miles of "NYC".
superhero since:2010-04-24 - containing "superhero" and sent since date "2010-04-24" (year-month-day).
ftw until:2010-04-24 - containing "ftw" and sent up to date "2010-04-24".
movie -scary :) - containing "movie", but not "scary", and with a positive attitude.
flight :( - containing "flight" and with a negative attitude.
traffic ? - containing "traffic" and asking a question.
hilarious filter:links - containing "hilarious" and linking to URLs.
news source:twitterfeed - containing "news" and entered via TwitterFeed

Note : This are the references which i found on the internet sole purpose to make recruiters  aware of latest trends in recruitment,any material found similar is regretted as these are findings on my google searches nothing from my end

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