Sweet! Tweetscan

Tweetscan is “a real-time search engine for Twitter posts. Beyond that, TweetScan can do your searches automatically and email them to you”.

At the ego level, you can use it to search for tweets directed at yourself or make that, myself.

tweetscan screenshot

So this is extremely useful to track replies people may make to you who are from people you dont follow directly (oh my gosh, I just admitted I dont return the follow favor…. alot). And even more, you can get an RSS feed for this, so you can track ongoing.

But you could also use it to track key words or trends across twitter space. Heck, this site created something twitter itself ought to do.

But crap, they still cannot list your followers in alpha order. WTF is with that? I dont know what twitter is programmed in (smells like Ruby), but how freaking hard is it to toss in a sort() routine. I cannot even determine what order twitter uses to display my followers, on the sidebar or on the “following” link. There is no coding excuse for that. So I can only put on my conspiracy hat and surmise that they dont want you to easily locate the name of someone following you. Pfffffftt on that.

But I digress. Tweetscan us clean, elegant, useful. Sweet!

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. Definitely a much better feature than the tracking feature that they have added to Twitter which sends them via your IM notification system. Have just taken the RSS feed and put into Google Reader to test if it is works well.

    Order in twitter appears to relate to when someone started following you. Absolutely crazy!

    Another cool application which has potential is Twitter Tester. Makes adjusting your twitter followers easy.

    May need to add these applications to my twitter post.

  2. I use it all the time. I have started using Tweetscan more than http://twittermap.com/search because it seems to miss fewer updates.

    One thing I wish Tweetscan would do is substring comparison. On Twittermap.com/search, I can type in “shaler” and get results for “brianshaler” AND “brainshaler” (lovely mispelling) AND “shaler”

  3. Oh, I breezed past the bottom of the blog post about sorting. The list was originally sorted by display name. People would use quirky characters to cheat the system and become first on all of their followers’ friends lists (like the politicians who auto-follow back). You would see display names starting with 1-5 boxes (or question marks). The box would represent a character not found in the charset available to the browser. They were in essence entering an ASCII value (the value used to alphabetically sort) #0001.

    They changed it during the summer (07) to be sorted by the users’ URLs (who knows WHY they changed it, but they did). However, Twitter allows users to change their URLs, so the same “cheaters” started using 000whatever for their URLs.

    There was another change in late September, which is based on the user’s ID (you can easily check ID#’s by going to a user profile and examining the RSS link). The ID, of course, is in the order that people signed up for Twitter.

    Personally, I think they should have left it alphabetical. Making it cumbersome to use is worse than letting people “cheat” to get to the top.

    Oh, and another Twitter search app: http://terraminds.com/twitter/ (via Twitter user @serena)


  4. Thanks Brian for the background/history on the follower sorting. However, in making decisions to change the interface based on the antics of a minority of users (those gaming to be at the “top”), they are violating IMactHO the more important priorities of good user interface design. That should always be the highest precedent.

    In fact, I found that entire iconic interface useless gunk, as well as the random order of the following list.

    Thanks for the terraminds search- it is quick, and I like having RSS feeds.

    Hope to cross paths some day at an AZTweetup!

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