In a previous post, An Alternative to Search Engines: Delicious, I discussed how Delicious and other social media sites could be used as an alternative to search engines when looking for online resources. The great thing about these social media resources is that people have already ranked or tagged them as helpful. Results in the search engines are ranked in order of relevance, generally, so results are not necessarily going to be helpful. Other users have already “approved” resources you find through social media sites as being useful. This ensures you that the material you find will help you, even if its search engine optimization is not as good as others.
Twitter is a social media site that can be used for this purpose of finding valuable content. Twitter made a huge splash in 2007 and 2008, during which you couldn’t visit new media or technology sites without hearing about it. I’ve found Twitter to be a great way to find some great articles or statistics. Twitter is especially useful for finding data in real time, as everything appears instantly.
To use Twitter’s search engine, type your keyword in the search bar at the top of the page, as shown below.
Your results will appear, and seem to be sorted in order of both relevancy and most recent. In order to find the most recent posts, you can type your keyword followed by since:today’s date. For example, marketing since: 2011-02-21 will provide you with all tweets containing the keyword “marketing” since February 21, 2011.
Other Posts in This Series: Delicious and StumbleUpon
Other social media sites that can be used in a similar way to find some great resources include Delicious and Twitter. You can read about how I use Delicious to find resources in my post, An Alternative to Search Engines: Delicious, and discover how StumbleUpon is used in a similar way in my upcoming post, An Alternative to Search Engines: StumbleUpon.
Do You Have Alternatives for Search Engines?
Other social media sites that I mentioned could be valuable in searching for advantageous resources include Delicious, as mentioned in the previous post in this series, and StumbleUpon.
How do you find your resources? Do you rely on search engines or are there other social media sites that you use to find things? I look forward to hearing your experiences and tips in the comments section.