Those who have read about the Kryptonite Lock debacle know that companies ignore the blogisphere at there peril. With Twitter.com‘s explosive growth in popularity among the text message generation, those 140 character tweets are the next frontier in consumer feedback.
Being totally addicted to the power of search engines, I was excited to discover that it’s possible to search Twitter by keyword. First to the party in this application race is terraminds.com. Just like Google, the site presents you with a simple search box. Fill in your keyword and you get a list of recent tweets that contain it. If the Twittersphere is any indication, Barack Obama is getting more traction than his opponent. “Obama” generated 43,639 tweets, while “Hillary” returned only 17,193. Other examples: “American Idol” brought up 4,337 tweets. Prince Harry’s extrication from deployment in Afghanistan brought up only 167. The numbers change by the minute as new tweets are posted.
Another cool feature, terraminds can turn your search into an rss feed that you can include as a sidebar on your blog. Every time you refresh your page, the latest tweets appear at the top.
If you’re a corporate troubleshooter, reading Twitter’s pulse with your company name in the search box can give you a unique opportunity to instantly address an issue, before it makes it to a blog page. It takes some work. You usually have to find a contact link, clicking through to the poster’s web page, But it can have a uniquely positive effect on a person’s psyche to get an email that says, “hey, I saw your tweet about us.. I can help!”