Many search engines don’t include results from popular “social media” applications like Twitter, Plurk or Ning, and are not necessarily even complete in their search for blog content.
There are several new search engines that have been designed specifically for searching these ignored resources, and they can be helpful. I’ve used them for professional development and research. I typed in the name “Stephen Krashen” (the second language learning writer, practitioner, and theorist) and found many different results than what I found on Google (or maybe Google would have the same listings, but way back in their results).
Of course, it’s also always interesting to see what a search using one’s own name finds, too!
Since these are so new, and since they’re so similar, I don’t feel comfortable calling this an official “The Best…” list. But I still thought a small collection of them might be helpful to readers.
Here are The Search Engines For Social Media that I’m familiar with:
Daymix looks like a nifty web application. You type in a query of something you’re interested in and it returns results from delicious, twitter, Google, Google Blog Search, Flickr, and Twitter. I’m adding it to this list, but that’s not really why I think it’s “nifty.” The particularly nifty aspect of it is that you can get an embed code for a widget that you can place on your blog and website that is supposed to continually update results from that search query.
I can certainly understand people’s reluctance to join Twitter, and I still have a lot of ambivalence after having recently joined. There are two sites that easily generated some Twitter benefits without joining — OneRiot and MicroPlaza. Both of these sites are search engines and have some elements in common with other tools on this list. The key difference, however, between these two and others are that once you type in your query, the results just show links to websites that have been recommended on Twitter — not all the back-and-forth conversations that are happening around the topic. MicroPlaza also actually shows screenshots.
Lazyfeed is a neat way to search social media, and have just updated their interface. You type in a query, and… instead of describing it, go to TechCrunch, who has written about it in a much clearer way than I could.
WAHchinga appears to be some kind of personalized web feed, but I can’t quite figure out how that part works. What I can figure out, though, is that it appears to be a pretty easy search engine for social media.
I’d certainly be interested in hearing about your experience with these tools, and if you have suggestions of others I’ve missed.