Turn Twitter Searches into Research Archives using Google Reader

Ok, so you are plugged in to endless Twitter feeds to get the low down on what’s going on – but how do you turn this into a useful research resource?

You can keep a track of what is being tweeted and collect it in an archive by using a combination of the Twitter advanced search and Google Reader. Using Twitter’s advanced search allows you to filter out what you don’t want and only keep what’s of interest. Using Google Reader means the captured search feed is then archived for later review – hence building a knowledge base.

How to do it:

  1. If you don’t already have a Google account, set one up
  2. In Firefox (preferably) go to Twitter Advanced search – http://search.twitter.com/advanced – and set all your search criteria, don’t forget to choose language – change the number of results to 50
  3. Iterate to perfect – search, look at the results, use the back arrow to return to the form with the details pre-filled, then search again
  4. Once you’ve got a results list you like the look of, click on the RSS (Feed for the Query) link on the RHS – if you haven’t already chosen your default, you will be asked what to use to subscribe to the feed – choose Google
  5. The Google Reader interface will be loaded and you will be asked for confirmation for subscribing

Now you will have an archived, updated RSS feed with your Twitter search in it, that you can review whenever you want – you can even then use it as the raw material for a Yahoo Pipe, or other feed consumer.


About jonallenby
I'm the co-founder and Technical Director of a new media agency - Lime Media. I would describe myself as having a healthy scepticism about technology - new ways of doing things are always new, but they are not necessarily better. Best to cut through the hype and think about how technology will physically change people's lives, for better or worse. I am also struggling to finish a part-time PhD in language, metaphor and philosophy at Goldsmith's College, University of London. Apart from thinking and reading, I like playing with my children, cross-country running and White Crane Kung-Fu - though usually not all at once.

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