Twitter is a fairly boring place if there’s nobody interesting you are following – but it’s always been an issue to find interesting people.
Tweepz is a new site, currently indexing just over 2 million twitter users (follow @tweepz to be added to the database) that aims to make finding people who interest you an easier task. Tweepz not only lets you search by geography, biography or name, but also aims in future to index the content of Twitter users’ nominated URLs, thus offering a great deal more scope towards returning meaningful search results.
Options in Tweepz’ search at present include looking in a Twitter users biography, pinpointing their stated location, by the name used (as opposed to username) and as free text, with results immediately sortable by relevancy, number of followers, or number being followed.
An excellent feature to narrow down searches is the ability to filter down to include, or to exclude, by the number of followers, divided into percentile ranges, so you can readily find the top 8.3% of those with ‘kilt’ in their bio who have over 1000 followers. Language is also (not always perfectly) identified, so you could pinpoint, or exclude, say Spanish-speaking individuals. There is also the ability to identify what are termed ‘extracted entities’ where an identifiable seamtic object such as a city, institution or product is aligned with twitter profile. RSS feeds for specific queries are available, as is the simple ability to tweet the results you are seeing.
After the enlightened suggestion of Marjolein Hoekstra, I spoke to Tweepz’ Dutch developer, Jochem Prins when he was in Scotland, and he revealed that the project was part-time, but fully supported by his employer exalead, and was designed to demonstrate some of the company’s capabilities.
An advanced query layer is due to be released (get more news by following @tweepz) , but you can currently search with operators such as ‘followers< =1000‘ to narrow down results from the initial simple query page. Enhancements I might expect as the site develops might include linking to Twitter to allow a ‘click-to follow’ facility when interesting individuals are found, and it would be useful to having the ability to store and re-run search results, but for now, Tweepz is a robust, uncluttered and flexible way to find relevant individuals who use Twitter with layered and filtered accuracy.