A couple of days ago, we showed you how to find the most popular stories linked on Twitter, the tweets with the most favourites, as well as how to find listings and popular music on Twitter. Today, we’re going to continue with a few more ways to dig deeper into the wealth of information on Twitter, with location-based searching, finding the hottest Twitter topics like lists and a few other goodies.
1 – Location Based
There are a few location-based sites that show you what topics are popular in a specific area. GeoMeme takes a novel approach by pitting two sentiments or topics against each other, such as Love and Hate, and sees which one is mentioned more on Twitter in any given area. You can choose to include updates found on MySpace, Buzz and Facebook as well if you like. Navigating to a certain area of the world is a little bit inconvenient as there is no way to just easily input any given area – you have to find it manually on their map. On the other hand, the site does prompt you to share your location, which means that each time you open it, it will automatically navigate straight to your part of the world.
GeoChirp is a much more straightforward but feature rich location-based website. On first loading, it will automatically detect your location, and will list the latest tweets coming from people nearby. You can also conduct a search on specific topics within your area, and can adjust the results to include anywhere between 5 and 25 tweets and can also adjust the radius anywhere up to 50 miles. Logging in with your Twitter account allows you to update your status, reply and retweet directly within GeoChirp. Other features include creating groups to keep your tweeps organised, translation of tweets to any language of your choice and url shortening using bit.ly.
TwitDir is a great resource if you simply want to find other Tweeters in a specific city or area. Search results are displayed by popularity, so the members with the highest number of followers and posting the hottest Twitter topics will be at the top of the list. TwitDir also allows you to search by username, real name, and descriptions. The site also has a few lists that are worth taking a look at including the users with the most followers and the users with the most updates.
2 – Twitter Lists
Listorious, a site that features Twitter lists of all sorts, allows users to add their profiles and lists to their directory, so you have a chance to be a direct part of the action. But where the site really comes in handy is that it puts the popular, information-rich lists on the front page, with categories including News, Sports and Politics, amongst others. Listorious also features the top 140 lists on Twitter, which has been determined by the number of followers the list has received.
3 – Movie Reviews
There is no shortage of opinion on Twitter, so a few websites have put that to good use, creating review sites based on user-opinion featured on Twitter.scours Twitter for tweets about new movies, and then classifies each tweet as positive or negative. If you want your review to appear instantly on TwitCritics, simply add the hashtag #TwitCritics. The home page features the latest movies, accompanied by their rating. Further details on each film include the number of positive and negative tweets about the film, along with links to the film’s page on IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes and other sites. The site also relies on user feedback, to make sure that the reviews have been correctly identified as positive or negative, but this is in fact the site’s main weakness, as irrelevant results are included far too often. TwitCritics’ features include a mobile-version of the site and a search function.
MovieCritter takes a different approach that ensures accuracy, but also probably makes it a little quieter than TwitCritic. In order for a tweet review to be included on MovieCritter, it has to be directed to the MovieCritter Twitter account. Users can direct their tweets to the account, including a rating and comment. So while the abundance of reviews is nowhere near the volume found on TwitCritics, you can at least be sure that they are accurate. Each film is accompanied by it’s overall rating, links to its IMDB and Wikipedia pages amongst others and embedded trailer videos.
Thu.mbsUp makes use of both hashtags and simply trawling Twitter for the names of the latest movies that are showing. Clicking on any given film, results are divided into positive and negative reviews, that scroll down the screen. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop the scrolling which can be a bit annoying. Thu.mbsUp also includes reviews about celebrities, mobile apps, cars and tech related gadgets and software. If you want to be sure that your tweets appear in the Thu.mbsUp stream, accompany your tweet with #thumbsup or #thumbsdown, and also be sure to hashtag whatever it is you’re reviewing.
Flixup! is another website which requires direct interaction with the website in order for your reviews to be counted in their ratings. Each film is accompanied by a rating meter that is judged by two factors – actual ratings given by users, as well as whether or not people want to see the film. Rating a film will automatically populate your tweet for you, which you can edit and post from within their website. Each film is accompanied by it’s poster, trailer, it’s Rotten Tomatoes rating, and tweets mentioning the film from around the Tweetosphere. Flixup also has a free iPhone app [iTunes link] available in the iTunes store.
There are other kinds of reviews that can be found on Twitter, and Saikat’s list of 10 web tools for searching for sentiment-based reviews shows just how extensive Twitter’s power of opinion is.
4 – Journalism
There is an abundance of official news sources on Twitter, from CNN to BBC to Al Jazeera. But aside from their official Twitter accounts, there is also an abundance of journalists who are using Twitter to connect directly with their audience. Two websites in particular aggregate all the journalists’ tweets – the aptly named JournalistTweets and Muck Rack.
JournalistTweets allow you to narrow down the feed by the journalists’ locations, but are limited to areas within the US and Europe. You can also use the site to monitor what journalists are saying about a specific topic with either email alerts or a custom RSS feed.
Muck Rack, which is brought to you by the people behind Listorious, is a little bit more elaborate. Each tweet is accompanied by the journalist’s specialisation and publication they work for. The feed can be narrowed down by journalists working for a specific publication or media outlet, or by topic such as World, US, Technology or Sports. Using Muck Rack, you can also browse the popular news links on Twitter and pictures tweeted by the listed journalists.
In the third and final part of this article, we’ll take a look at using Twitter to help you when you’re travelling, how to find the authoritative voices on Twitter and how to search for anything at all further back than the 10 days that Twitter Search allows.
How do you filter through the noise and find the hottest Twitter topics? Let us know in the comments.