Search Engines

Search Twitter feeds

A Drupal Planet post pointed me towards which makes easy work of searching Twitter. Though it still doesn't make Twitter a really useful tool in most cases it is rather fun to use it to search "follower whores". Now what is a follower whore? It is somebody who wants to crank up their followers so they make their updates "private" and then allow anybody who will "follow" them to see the updates. With the search engine you can't see their feeds but you can see the responses to them and get a pretty good idea what they're saying.

And you can use their tool for sentiment analysis. Though to be honest when I use it and then look at the resulting posts it's a really weak analysis with really tenuous scoring. But tenuous doesn't prevent it being fun.

Does this always happen?

Over the past few years Google has taken the net by storm. As one of the early adopters I really liked the up and coming tool and its independence. Yesterday Dave Winer discovered what appeared to be a bug in their use of DMOZ directory items. Upon further examination it appears its a concerted effort by a Big Company to use their market position for competitive advantage over one of the oldest titles in the genre of blog publishing software. Winer's right in saying we need a solution to replace Big CO.

Google's link: has it's limits

Google has what at first brush looks to be a great feature. You can search on pages that link to your pages. However, it appears that this works ONLY if Google has indexed the pages. For example a google search on the Internet Sympathy Card comes up with several links including a page from Scripting News. This page links to Do a search on or and Google says there are no links to them.

Why this matters? It would be a useful tool. For example there are many stale links to the Internet Sympathy Card's old home at With a quick search I should be able to find the list of folks I need to contact.

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