Tuesday, November 4, 2008

User Search

Looking for people to follow on Twitter? Not sure you want to follow based on a keyword used in an off-hand comment? Then try our new User Search! This searches the Twitter profiles we've indexed for their location, bio, and the beginning of the username. Give it a try and find some new folks to follow.

Once your done loading up on people to follow, join our site and get your free daily search emails started!

Happy Scanning.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Search Extended beyond Twitter and identi.ca

A while back, we added identi.ca messages or "dents" to our search index. It was and still is accessible at a second search page(tweetscan.com/identica). Since then, we've received requests that it be integrated to search both Twitter and identi.ca in one search result.

We've taken this idea a step further by integrating not just these two major Microblogging sites but also eight other Laconica based sites. These sites are in no particular order: bleeper.de, army.twit.tv, lareta.net, linuxoutlaws.net, sufficetosay.frontrowcrew.com, micro.ciarang.com, fun.ohhh.no, and pawwer.com. None of these gets the volume approaching Twitter at the moment but we think it's a great thing for the microblogging space to have them somehow unified in search.

For the moment, RSS doesn't do all these sites but you can do Twitter and identi.ca by visiting the API page to read about that. Also, if you know of another major site we should be indexing, feel free to comment or message @tweetscan or @weex.


David Sterry

Friday, September 26, 2008

2008 Debate #1 Twitter Statistics

The first Presidential debate of the 2008 Election started about 3 hours ago and since that time, we've captured 142,002 messages by 50,792 users from Twitter's public message stream. We present here the number of times some words of interest were mentioned during that time. For reference, the word "debate" was counted 12,460 times.

If you have any questions, feel free to add a comment. To follow future debates in real-time, bookmark this link.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Download Your Twitter Message Archive

We are very excited about a new product we released. You can now download your Twitter message archive consisting of any messages we've captured from our starting date of December 1st, 2007 to today. Just go to https://www.tweetscan.com/data.php to order. You can choose to download your messages alone or to include your replies as well. Only public messages we've previously captured are included in the database, though we believe it is the most comprehensive outside of Twitter itself.

We appreciate any suggestions you have to improve the service. Please email them to datasupport@tweetscan.com. If you are the first to come up with a suggestion and we choose to implement it, we will provide you with a complementary message archive with replies.


David Sterry

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ubiquity for Tweet Scan

Have you heard about Ubiquity? Mozilla's new plugin for Firefox adds a command line interface to their great web browser. Since Tweet Scan provides some web services, I thought I'd try my hand at creating a command to let people execute a search. To try it out, visit http://tweetscan.com/api.php and subscribe.

After installation, restart Firefox, invoke ubiquity and start typing 'tweetscan'('twe' is all you really need to type in a default install). Now, a Firefox restart isn't supposed to be required so if anyone knows how I can remove that step, I'm all ears.

Creating the command wasn't hard. All I did was take the 'echo' example from the author tutorial, use CmdUtils.getDocumentInsecure to grab the current tab, and set the document.location to the search url after escaping the search phrase. You can take a look at the code when you subscribe or by going to http://tweetscan.com/tweetscan.js.

This is the simplest command I could think of for Tweet Scan but I'll be looking for a way to extend this to make Tweet Scan useful for email and other creative contexts.

Happy Scanning,

David Sterry

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

identi.ca support

Tweet Scan has recently begun tracking dents on the identi.ca network. If you've not heard of identi.ca, on the face of it it's a Twitter clone. But in actuality it is the main installation of the first major piece of Affero GPL'd software to hit the web: laconi.ca.

If you'd like to search messages on identi.ca, proceed to http://tweetscan.com/identica

At this moment, rss feeds, email alerts, and other parts of Tweet Scan are still only pointed at Twitter but we plan to grow our support for identi.ca as the platform matures.

Friday, May 2, 2008

API: JSON, RSS and Badges

What does API stand for? Does it matter? Truth is, a web service just isn't a web service without an API. Informally, anybody could use the RSS feeds we've been providing as an API but well there are easier ways. Especially when it comes to creating other web applications that process and display real-time information.

So we've created a JSON implementation. If you are not familiar with it, JSON is a format that is ready to read by Javascript. In our case, we provide that data wrapped in a call to a function called ts_parse. If you define that function to handle the data, that's a start. You can look at http://tweetscan.com/badge.js for a reference implementation. Which leads us to the badges....

The first use of the JSON and what was used for testing is also available at http://tweetscan.com/api.php in the form of a badge. You can grab a couple snippets of code, put in your search string, and wham! you'll have topical live updating tweets on your site.

Of course, we'd love to see what else can be done with this data. The possibilities are nearly endless. So if you've got a developer's itch to scratch, give it a shot and let us know if you need anything more in the API.

Happy API Scanning!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Video of Tweet Scan

Just saw this cool video today from Robert Scoble's feed on Qik. He talks about how he uses Twitter and Tweet Scan(2:22) so look, listen and learn. Robert mentions searching: Microsoft, Scobleizer, Winer, and retweet.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Search by date

"History, history is laughing at us, plotting its discovery, victory, victory, blame it on the victory." - Bad Religion

Today marks the first day where all previously collected tweets are available online. You can search back in time by clicking on the "just now" field and choosing a date from the calendar. You can also type the date in YYYY-MM-DD format if you prefer the keyboard which we often do.

Why is this useful? You might be doing a report for a client and want to judge consumer sentiment before and after launch of the new site. Or perhaps you remember a friend said something cool but it was so far back that paging through your archives is impractical. Maybe you're just a historian trying to help us all avoid repeating our mistakes.

This is a new feature and there may be bugs so please do tweet about them including the word "tweetscan" so we can log them, submit to code review, and finally to our implementation group to be rolled in with the next Tweet Scan service pack. ;)

Happy Scanning!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Redesign and Popular Searches

If you've visited the site in the last couple hours or if you helped test it yesterday, you are now seeing a redesign of the site. The previous interface was a hack, too spacious, and even we were getting tired of that green. Tweet Scan now takes up less space on the screen and uses strict(er) css for a standard layout no matter which browser you prefer.

Additionally, we wanted to put a new thingy(that's an accepted word now right?) on the page. Google has their Zeitgeist which is cool but having something that updates once a month or even once a week is glacial by Twitter standards. Our Popular Searches div updates once an hour and reflects some of the most popular searches of the last 24 hours.

Happy scanning!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The OR operator

In the quest to make our humble search engine the best it can be, we've implemented the OR operator in our search. So if you wanted to search for cats or dogs you can enter that as 'cats OR dogs'. If you want to do an OR between two exact phrases or an exact phrase and a single word, that should work too. For example 'cats OR "big dogs"' will work as you'd expect. Note that the OR must be capitalized for it to work.

This updated functionality should work in RSS, on the site, and in Twhirl. If you have any comments or suggestions, let us know at @tweetscan OR right here in a comment.

Happy scanning!

Monday, March 17, 2008

RSS Improvements and Wiki

With Terraminds down over the past few days, many people have been looking for an alternative for their Twitter RSS search feeds. One problem with switching to Tweet Scan for RSS was that our feed didn't include the pubDate field in the feed and at least one web application(TwitterFeed) rejected the feed. This has been fixed.

Also, there are a few advanced features of Tweet Scan like boolean 'and' and 'not' features that people ask for but that are already in there. So we decided it was time to put up a wiki for the project. You can read it(and it is a quick read) at tweetscan.com/wiki. We're particularly interested to hear if you've found some unique uses for Tweet Scan that we didn't think of.

Happy scanning!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tweet Scan Core

You follow me, I follow you. On Twitter follower reciprocity is a custom, and at times a rule. It's nice to have lots of followers but if Twitter is a tool to bring us together, this moré can work against us.

It can turn our home page into a virtual firehose of disconnected thought and status. That's why we've developed Tweet Scan Core. It's a simple way to save users that you'd *really* like to follow and see each of their latest tweets from one page. It's your core network status in real-time.

To get it, just sign up at Tweetscan.com and build a comma-separated list of twitter users like this: "tweetscan,weex,jowyang,monkchips". Save your settings and visit http://tweetscan.com/core.php as often as you'd like.

If you have any suggestions, message @tweetscan or leave a comment.

Happy scanning!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

TweetScan for iPhone

Thanks for checking out the blog. The latest news is that we got an iPhone for "development" purposes and we just had to do something cool with it. So we present the iPhone version of TweetScan. If you have an iPhone, you don't have to do anything special to use. We just check the user agent for "iPhone" so if you want to see it, you know what to do.

To create the iPhone version, we:
1. Removed the install search link.
2. Moved the link bar below the logo.
3. Reduced the font size.
4. Reduced the page width.

This version may be useful for other mobile/small screen devices so perhaps the next step we'll take will be to look for more user agent strings. If you have a particular device you'd like to see included, message @tweetscan or leave a comment somewhere on the interweb.

Happy scanning!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Search Twitter Posts by User

Tweet Scan is useful for finding replies that Twitter doesn't or for easily following topics and conversations you care about. There is another feature that people keep requesting, and it's a pleasure to fulfill that request. People(you) want to be able to search tweets by themselves or another user. It's like searching your own email, a must-have feature.

Testing it has been a lot of fun. For example, I wanted to revisit the link codinghorror posted in this post but there was really no good way to do it before now. With a simple search for "mouse" by "codinghorror" it was quite easy to find.

That's why I present to you the ability to search posts by user. Try it out and send a shoutout to @weex or just mention tweetscan if you like it. Happy scanning.