Blog search tool Twingly’s new microblog search, as a concept, makes a lot of sense. You enter a keyword in one search box and get results from services like Twitter, Jaiku and Identi.ca. But in practice there’s a problem — and it’s not Twingly’s problem — it’s every service besides Twitter’s problem: Twitter overwhelms the results.
You see, Twitter is much more popular than any of the other services being indexed, so if I do a Twingly search for say, “Obama,” I have to go 11 pages deep before I get one result that isn’t from Twitter. So that begs the questions: Why not just use Twitter search?
Of course, results will vary based on how popular the search term is that you’re entering. For less popular terms, Twingly could certainly be useful. And to some degree it’s nice for things like vanity searches, where I want to find if anyone says my name on any of these services.
And of course you can filter out Twitter results by un-checking the box on the right hand side of the page. Also especially nice is that I can easily get an RSS link for any search I make, so I can subscribe to it in my feed reader rather than having to repeat the same search over and over again.
The Twitter “problem” will also be fixed a bit when FriendFeed results are added to the mix, which Twingly’s Anton Johansson tells us will happen soon. But that raises another question: Why not just use FriendFeed to search for these results? After all, FriendFeed search scans Twitter, Jaiku, Identi.ca and the now defunct Pownce as well (though not the Swedish Bloggy and the German Bleeper — which Twingly included since the company is based in Europe).
But Twingly is saying the right things on its blog. In proclaiming to be the first federated microblog search, it’s calling on any other microblogging services to add their results to the site. But again, in microblogging there is Twitter, and then there’s everyone else.
So while Twingly’s microblog search is potentially useful for some queries, until these other services start to prove themselves, Twitter search (or FriendFeed) will probably be enough for most people.
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