Searching for company names/references/tweets on Twitter

I was recently interested in searching for references to the name ‘Ernst & Young‘ (the accounting firm) on Twitter (ie, within tweets). Obvious? Just type ‘Ernst & Young’ into the box on Twitter Search?  Yes, of course. … But that’s not the end of the story.

Getting the right search results on Twitter can be a little more tricky than that, but as I show below, not entirely impossible. I have set out a few hints and tips as to how to ensure you can increase your chances of finding references to any company name in Twitter.

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How developments in social media might impact internal corporate communications

Internal corporate communications often put a positive spin on news stories, and often include only stories which portray the organization in a positive light and highlight recent success stories. Reasons for this can include thee organization’s leadership wanting to motivate staff, emphasise strategy, and direct the development of the corporate culture, as well as possibly also highlighting successful leadership.

As such, the style of presentation and choice of content can include an element of bias, and in some cases might even be factually inaccurate or misleading (eg, if the leadership feels that this can be in the best interests of the organization, or if the leadership is dictating the internal communications in order to justify it’s own existence or overstate its own performance). This is natural – in any communications or discussion, most people tend to put a positive spin on their own performance.

Recent technological developments, in particular Web2.0/Social Media, are however limiting the effectiveness of what can essentially be ‘corporate propaganda‘.

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Google ‘Wonder Wheel’ – mind maps on steroids!

Picture 7Let’s say you want to research a topic: You start with a general theme, but you’re keen to know more about it.  It might just be something that you have a passing interest in, your favorite band, a research topic for college, a client, or a something that you are working on. What do you do? Often you might Google some key words, and read around the topic.

Such search exercises are often unspecific, and consist more of information gathering to see what can be found and if there is anything of interest – normal search queries pump out numerous results, and by clicking on one or more of the top results, reading the contents of the linked pages, and perhaps following some links in those sites (and more reading) you eventually feel that you know something and can’t dedicate any more time to your search.

I recently came across Google Wonder Wheel and consider that it could be an excellent tool to reduce wasted time and effort in the early research steps, by allowing you to quickly focus your specific interest.

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Google Wave – the future of communications, or just another social media tool?

Google_Wave_logoYou’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter – next up is Google Wave. I recently received an invite to join Google Wave, Google’s new social media/collaboration tool.  Since it is still in a limited preview phase, the only way to join Google Wave is via such invites (read on if you are interested in getting an invite – I have three to give away). I’ve now had some time to play with it, and thought I’d add my thoughts to the growing number of reviewers and critics.

According to the Google Wave ‘About’ page:

Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

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Interest based ads – what you should know that Google knows about you!

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Interest based ads (advertisements) are advertisements that appear on pages that you are browsing on, in the internet, which are specifically selected to be relevant to your interests. This means that Google is tracking some information about you, in order to prioritize the adverts you personally see (other people will see different ads).

According to Google, there is no need to worry about ‘big brother’ tendancies, since (i) you can opt out, and (ii) no personal information (identity details, bank details, etc.) is recorded.

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The information age – thoughts on how ‘search’ is evolving, and the impact of Google Books

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Some commentators say that after the agricultural and industrial ages, we are now in the information age. That may be true – information is everywhere, to the extent that we are almost drowning in it. Websites, blogs, podcasts, webcasts, etc. And that’s only online – on top there are newspapers, books, DVDs, videos, records, tapes, and live performances (unrecorded, and lost forever except in the memories of those present?). Google, and others, are trying to help people search through the world’s information, including now also the information previously not available online.

As part of its goal to help people search through the world’s information Google is digitizing ‘old media’ content so that it can also be searched (Google Books’ Library Project and Partner Program).

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Ensembli – a solution to information overload?

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Ensembli is an interesting website which I think starts to look at ‘search’ in a slightly different way. That said, Ensembli doesn’t really sit alongside Google or Bing – it’s different. In some ways it’s more like an RSS reader, in that it brings stories to you as they become available/published.

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