Try these Social Media search engines, and if nothing else — I think you'll definitely find that you like 'em.
I surf a lot, and I do a fair amount of the Social Media stuff as well. Oftentimes, I find it difficult to get at specific bits of niche oriented information using the big engines — even with well crafted 'advanced search' criteria. This is especially true when trying to track real-time topics, unusual terms, odd trends and memes. Have you encountered this, or ever felt this way? Have you gone through multiple pages of search results on well-known search engines without finding what you were looking for — or even anything remotely close?
Recently, I've stumbled upon (or folks have shared with me on my Twitter account, @ptamaro) some really cool and powerful Social Media real-time search engines I thought I'd share with you. Below are some really cool social oriented search tools with features that go beyond what you'll see on the big engines. Although these tools are relatively new to me, I think I've seen enough to feel like they're going to help me to be more productive as I continue to use them and become more familiar with their specific features.
If you think I'm totally missing "a killer social search app" that you think should be included here, let me know. I'm always on the lookout for the next best thing...
I'll highlight three very cool and ultra powerful social media oriented search engines. I strongly encourage you try them all, and see what you think. This isn't intended to be an extensive analysis, but rather a somewhat cursory look at a few of the lesser known tools available to help you find the things you're looking for, and maybe some interesting little surprises along the way. The search terms I used were "backgrounds" and "fibonacci".
socialmention* Real-time social media search and analysis
This is an ultra cool and incredibly powerful social media search tool. The interface is beautiful, inviting, sophisticated and very slick. It's usability is fantastic and extremely intuitive. You can perform your search within more than eleven categories, and across more than 80 social networks and sources. It feels like a "social media über search" for lack of a better description — in their words, it's "a real time search platform" so it's a little bit more than an engine or tool.
It was tough to find anything that could be improved here. I guess it would be nice to have the source selection checkboxes grouped in a more logical way? For instance, the sources are listed in columns and alphabetized from left to right which seems awkward to me. Maybe it's just me. Nonetheless, it's hard to find any flaws which is unusual! This is how social search should be done. Period.
- Comprehensive list of networks and services
- Social Mention Alerts
- Aggregated trend data
- Single stream of real-time data available via API
- A series of tools and widgets: Realtime Buzz Widget, Browser Search Plugin, iGoogle Gadget (coming soon)
- Data-rich real-time results with analysis ratings and filters, hover tips, sorting, top keywords and hashtags
- Export CSV/Excel, RSS feeds
- Much, much more...
WhosTalkin? Social Media Search Tool
This is a very unique engine with one of the most elegant and intuitive interfaces I've seen in a while. If I had only one word to describe it, that word would be: amazing. This engine allows you to run your search across more than 50+ sources within multiple categories.
The few shortcomings I noticed could easily be fixed. For example, there are way too many "back to top" links and that space could be replaced by something useful. Also, it's not entirely clear what source the results you're looking at are from — which can be a problem if you're quickly running searches across multiple social networks. This too can be easily fixed by displaying the category and network the results you're currently presented with are from. For instance, the content description at the top of the results could read, "Results for fibonacci' within: Blogs » Twitter" so the user would know exactly what they are looking at. A few more well thought out features may just be the icing this cake needs. That said, it's still awesome because of it's overall solid positive user experience.
- Left navigation accordion allows you to quickly run searches through multiple categories and networks
- Very intuitive user interface and it's really fun to use
- They offer an iGoogle Gadget, and an API
- Results are a bit basic in terms of the richness of data
- Feels like it could use a few more features
IceRocket real-time search
This is a really powerful engine... and I think it's been around for a while. I've found some really juicy stuff using it. I really like it. I think the only downside of this engine is a slightly inconsistent user interface across screens which is a bit jarring.
This is a very cool data-rich engine with some unusually powerful features. A few tweaks to the layout consistency would go a long way — but these minor shortcomings are far outweighed by the overall value it provides.
- Search by category; for example a social network (Twitter, MySpace), content type (video, images), blogs, news, the web, or the "big buzz"
- Easily run the same search multiple times within each category with a simple click
- Follow trends, submit your blog and use other tools like RSS Builder, Blog Tracker, or their API
- When searching Twitter you have the opportunity to reply to or re-tweet directly from the search results, the results are updated real-time as more become available
- You can easily save your search and run it again later, and alerts are in the works
- Lots of information about the data you're looking at
I have a few more engines in the toolbox, but they take a slightly different approach and seem to be in another category altogether, so maybe I'll do another post since this one was a lot of fun. Comments and suggestions are welcome, and feel free to tweet me any time with your thoughts. What's your favorite social engine?