Perhaps the greatest thing I learned in Library School is the understanding of Boolean Searching. When put in the right context, understanding the proper use of "AND", "OR", "BUT NOT" and the proper placement of parenthesise "()" can make your searching a lot better. Even in the age of Googling, Boolean is still a skill that is needed.
I've been testing some of my searching skills while reviewing the TweetDeck software that I evaluated last week. I noticed that good old Boolean searches work better in the TweetDeck than they do when you search in Twitter's search interface. At the same time, I was seeing A LOT of decent information that people were sharing via Twitter. Blogs they just read, conferences they were attending, articles, new websites, new software, etc. And, if the right type of Boolean search is set up, TweetDeck will chime in and let me know when someone has mentioned the topics I'm interested in. All without clogging up my email.
So, I can get updates like Kevin O'Keefe telling me how many people have viewed his LinkedIn Profile in the last 4 days:
Or, I can see my recent posting on my search using twitter search:
This updates about every minute. I'm liking what I've seen so far. Although it isn't perfect, it is a nice search tool to have. One big problem that I haven't been able to find a "fix" for, is the fact that if you re-do your search, any previous postings that have been returned to you before, will no longer show up in your search. So, during the tweaking process, you'll feel a little frustrated that some of the good twitter postings no longer appear in your results. I'll post a note on this blog if I find a way around that issue.
Of course, this got me thinking of different ways to use Boolean searching, and then having automated ways of searching Internet resources. Then I tried to mash some different RSS feeds into my Google Reader to see how that works. Creating a RSS feed using the Google Blog Search, and another RSS feed using the Twitter Search, I created a Widget for my iGoogle account and had the results feed to me there.
Plugging in the RSS feeds, I created my own gadget that displays the results of both Twitter and Google Blog Search. And, the flexibility of the gadget allows me to modify it as I see fit.