Twitter Search is hopeless – Director of Search leaves.

A post to commemorate – rather belatedly – the 60th anniversary of the coining of the term Information Retrieval. Sadly, I can’t seem to find the tweets which I read and replied to in this context however hard I try searching using Twitter Search and URL shorteners I may have seen or used.

Calvin Mooers

Before hearing about this anniversary, I had actually read through the paper in question – written by Calvin N. Mooers.The title of the paper was a bit difficult to understand at first: The Theory of Digital Handling of Non-Numerical Information and Its Implications to Machine Economics. Later I looked at the time of publishing and realized how new a concept of digital handling would have been in 1950!

We may have come a long way in terms of retrieval algorithms and most of the things I want to find on the web (repetitive queries, at least) I can find without much ado. But one area of the net which is still VERY poorly indexed is Twitter. In spite of the millions paid by Google/Bing  to index tweets and the millions more that Twitter themselves have invested I can’t find a tweet more than 4 days old.

It is heartening to see that Twitter is taking action on this front. The Director of Search, Doug Cook is out. Wonder who the new people shall be. Whoever he/she is, they will need to get things moving and fast. Twitter is planning to move on Search based monetisation, so search is key.

Twitter says :

We are investing even more on search and have created new teams to focus our efforts on inference, discovery and real-time search infrastructure.

Read more about that here.

In the mean time, does anyone know of a sure shot (and free) way by which I can index all of my own tweets and the ones I am reading?


2 thoughts on “Twitter Search is hopeless – Director of Search leaves.

    • But the site you are talking about only uses the Twitter search API as far as I can see. I was talking about a way to search through the entire history of tweets. Retrieving tweets which are days, weeks, even months old. There really is no way to achieve that right now.

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