Searching conversations: Twitter, Facebook & the Social Web – Greg Notess

Conversation as database – public conversations that may or may not disappear. If NSA can data mine public conversations, can libraries? Privacy lines are blurring, some are getting creeped out by the public info that is out there – it’s our job to teach our users that the info is there and others can find it. He also discussed semi-public communities- members only, but archived. What is archived? Where is it archived? Reliance on other humans to help keep your assumed private communications private – both the recipients and the folks who are reading our ‘net transmissions (ISPs, hackers, NSA, etc.). Privacy by obscurity! Who cares about much of the info posted?
He then talked about Old Databases – email & email lists, Usenet (Google Groups) and web forums – these are all searchable & archived. Usenet (now Google Groups) is useful for folks who were active in computers in the 70’s and beyond. All the Usenet posts are still archived. Discussion forums are still in use, too – some are getting wise and making questions freely searchable, but answers require paying membership in the forum. Email & email lists – forward your email to Yahoo! Or Gmail or download the copies for easy searching for yourself. Lists sometimes limit searching archives to subscribers only – becoming a member will give you that access and you can set your subscription to nomail if you don’t want the actual emails coming in, just searching access. No web-based archive means email search via listserv software – tedious, but useful without an archive – your users probably don’t know they can do that at all.
Summize – search reviews/opinions – added Twitter search – became Twitter searching by default, then got bought by Twitter. Greg brought up Summize and the hash tag made it to the top of the most active hash tags. Sweet! Then he brought up the page again and my tweet about the fact that we are active folks was on top. Entertaining! He spent a good deal of time discussing the options that Summize offers. Other options to search twitter are: Tweetscan, search people on Twitter itself, web search engines (will get some).
Facebook searching – you can see profiles from your networks and partial profiles from friends of your friends or folks who are in your networks. Wide membership in networks and such will help you see more profiles. He then showed how to set privacy settings so that you aren’t quite so searchable. You can also find out about community and group demographics, too. Facebook postings aren’t necessarily permanent – but they can be if someone else grabs the photo or the quote and reposts it. Otherwise, if it goes away on your page, it’s gone.
Spokeo – get information from social sites by entering in an email address and seeing where they are signed up and, if public, get the info from their profiles. Hmmm, I’m definitely going to have to check my own email addresses out on this one… Techniques – try to find all the known email address for your search subject, ignore the friend uploading option, get more content from them for a fee.
Comments and tags – conversation occurs here too – don’t forget to search through these to get info.
Question time:
Can you search on Twitter search for orgs using a twitter widget? Nope, probably not. Maybe a search engine search for the name or code used might give you the info
What about searching LinkedIn? Searching is much more limited, not as complete as Facebook.

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