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Topsy is designed to mine the collective signal from the social web in real-time. To measure the relative importance of each search result, Topsy examines the links being cited, the description of these links and the influence of each person citing a link. Topsy augments traditional search engines by finding interesting and relevant information that people are talking about. If other people are discussing it, Topsy thinks you might find it interesting and relevant too!
“Search powered by the social web” is a simple phrase, which hides many interesting problems. Topsy’s approach is an attempt at solving these problems with a range of new technologies – and initially, a dataset based exclusively on the conversations taking place in the wonderful Twitter community.
Not relevant results like City Hall or Munipical News.
These are things people are tweeting about.
I can see how this might be alluring... but I can also see how the results might turn many people off.
If you go into it looking to search tweets it might be useful. If they market themselves as a niche search engine....
Personally, I see the major potential here. The results are very interesting. I think the algo is clearly in a V1 beta state and will take a lot of training. This is a fresh engine algo approach that has never before been tested or tried. Basing results on popularity of "tweets" is ground-up new.
I found topics through Topsy that I had never seen before about a few products I follow. There are going to be some major finds in there for rep mgt and webmasters that have IP worth tracking, contributing too, and nudging in a favorable direction. Any brand, trademark, website, domain, copyrighted work, or other IP needs care and feeding. Following your interests on twitter is step one, and making sure you are in all important conversations about your brand early-and-often is mission critical going forward in the social media world. Every tool we can have in our bag to do that is a major plus.
Hats off to Topsy for putting together another free tool to do just that. It is currently the only engine of this type available. So far, I am finding it more useful than Twitter's search and far better than Twitter's useless "trending topics" display.
For some subjects people are going to ask a question via Twitter, someone else is going to Google the answer, and send that site reference back as the answer via Twitter, so I'd expect some correlation like that to occur.
I am beginning to suspect that at least part of the ODP database was also used to seed this - or does the fact that some queries closely match the list of sites found there, simply reflect human usage of directories to find the information to answer other peoples questions with?
I have not investigated their 301 or 302 redirect handling, but I expect it to be far from optimum, probably abysmal. .... <edit>For new URLs, they seem to handle redirects OK, but for old URLs that change, I have no idea. I'd expect them to expire the data.</edit>
no - this is not that type of engine. This is indexing pages that are pointed to by tweet urls (including shortened urls). That makes it a "hot topic" engine. It has nothing to do with the odp.