Twitter Search Operators

December 1st, 2008 by Livingston | Print Twitter Search Operators

By now you’ve probably heard of Twitter and may even be addicted to tweeting.  I’ve been casually using it and following some friends and industry folks, but have not yet successfully used it as a sourcing tool, and am itching to do so.

There are some posts and even resources that explain the Boolean logic and zip code radius search with search.twitter.com to find potential candidates.  This tool was originally summize.com, they did a great NYC tech meetup demo here in NYC prior to the ~15 mm acquisition by Twitter.  I spent some time yesterday looking into Twitter’s advanced search operators, and a few of them stood out.

  • Link Filters: The ability to return tweets that include reference URLs. “my resume”  filter:links
  • Since & Until Operators: Similar to Google’s date search feature, you can search a range of dates.  Try searching before and after major related events to your topic.  For example, try until:2008-11-17  “my resume” yahoo versus since:2008-11-17  “my resume” yahoo to filter out everyone applying for the CEO position..
  • :) & :(  Mood Operators: Check out the difference between “my job” :( and “my job” :).  Not everyone uses emotion with their tweets, but some do.  Just my guess, but it’s probably a little more difficult to recruit someone who loves their job.
  • Hashtag Operator (#): Holds more weight than simply searching the word, and hashtags will continue to evolve.  For example, PHP #job when looking for PHP jobs.  This operator can also be used to track specific events.  During the recent 2008 election, users added #current and #debate08 to signify a current, debate oriented tweet.  Others may simply need their daily haiku fix (#haiku).

These have really sparked my interest, some companies are already starting to tap into this resource including Ruder Finn UK, Ripple6, and Chemical Records, but I still think we’re scratching the surface here.

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