1. Computing
Wendy Boswell

Topsy helps you decipher the social media web

By August 28, 2013

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topsy Want to know what people are talking about, sending to other people, blogging, submitting to social bookmarking sites? You'll want to try Topsy, a search engine that follows conversations around the Web based on a Twitter springboard of over 30 million users and what they're talking about.

Here's how Topsy works. Instead of indexing documents and content, Topsy looks at Twitter, searching the complicated network of conversation and relationships that naturally occurs from using this service. Basically, it shows you who, what, where, and how people are talking about whatever topic you might choose to search. For example, look at these search results:

Each of these searches bring back the most popular links that have inspired Twitter conversations that are occurring right now, in the last day, week, month, or the default all at once (you can filter this). All the conversations that relate to that particular subject or original Tweet (a Twitter post) are grouped together in the numbered cloud to the left of the result. If you click on that cloud, you'll see all the Tweets about that particular link, ranked in order of influence (how active that person is on Twitter):

topsy kindle

I am really digging Topsy; it's a fascinating way to get inside Twitter conversations and mine the information that you want. A couple things that Topsy lacks: RSS feeds, alerts for when something you like is being talked about, more filtering options for which social Web services you'd like to get results from, and a way to group together the people you want to hear from on a topic (i.e., I'd like to round up a group of Twitter users whose opinion I respect on one particular subject, kind of like my own personal super awesome ninja Twitter squad). Give Topsy a try and see how you like it.

More Twitter tools and social Web search engines

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