It was via a referrer link on a post on the Open Culture blog that I came across the Topsy service (isn’t serendipity wonderful). This service describes itself as “A search engine powered by tweets“.

Here’s an illustration of the service, using a search for ‘JISC’.

Topsy search for jisc

Of course the first thing you are often tempted to do when you see a search box is to type in something of interest to yourself and, if the service seems of interest, you might also search for information about one’s peers. So here’s a summary of my findings.

Search Nos. of tweets in month Top Twitterer
JISC 563 tweets @jisc (14 links).
UKOLN 164 tweets @briankelly (17 links).
CETIS 242 tweets @markpower (11 links).
Eduserv 184 tweets @andypowe11 (18 links).
MIMAS 423 tweets @copac (9 links)
EDINA 140 tweets @freelistminn (27 links).

I believe the information is based on the search string, either as text or as part of a URL in a link (following expansion of a shortened link).  Note, by the way, that as the first set of results for ‘EDINA’ refer to a place in the US rather than the JISC-funded service, the findings for EDINA have been discounted.

This time using the MIMAS service as an example I have explored what additional information  the service can provide. A screen shot of information on tweets which provide a link to the MIMAS home page is illustrated.


It seems that the relaunched MIMAS Web site was mentioned on Twitter, not only by MIMAS staff but also by ‘influential’ Twitterers such as @branwenhide .