Topsy for Social Networking Data

Just did a reference question that brought to my attention, and wanted to post about it — you may or may not already know about Topsy, but just in case you don’t…. provides real-time searching for the social web, that is, they “index massive amounts of authored content in realtime, with algorithms ranking what’s bad and what’s good content based upon influence graphs.” Topsy “enables businesses around the globe to apply social intelligence to realtime decisioning. [Their] fast-indexing technology ingests massive amounts of authored content from the world’s largest social networks and [their] live-ranking software applies influence algorithms to social data, identifying the most important content seconds after it has been posted to the social web. [They] produce a variety of metrics calculated from census-based social data sets, enabling businesses to interpret social signal in ways that are meaningful to each business segment’s needs, with high degrees of precision and in realtime.” [info. comes from the Topsy site] So if you want to search for, say, Tweets on a particular subject or organization, Topsy may be able to help — a lot. .

Very cool, very timely, very VALUABLE! And.. they recently released the Google+ Topsy search, which “means that you can now use Topsy to search through public Google+ posts, which is really exciting given the high-quality of these posts. Google+’s longer format and threaded conversations has allowed it to grow, even in its short lifespan, into a rich forum with in-depth discussion across many topics, with a focus on technology and other technical topics. Needless to say, the Google+ search results are also ranked by [Topsy’s] influence algorithm (just like [their] Twitter index) to help you find the most relevant results on a topic.” [info. comes from the Topsy Labs blog]

The parent company, Topsy Labs, has a blog, at:, and BTW: they’re hiring! (there’s a User Experience Designer position, based in my favorite U.S. city — San Francisco — that looks right up the alley of librarians). Topsy is well-worth a look for you and your researchers seeking data from and about social networks.

More as it happens,

Cheryl LaGuardia About Cheryl LaGuardia

Cheryl LaGuardia always wanted to be a librarian, and has been one for more years than she's going to admit. She cracked open her first CPU to install a CD-ROM card in the mid-1980's, pioneered e-resource reviewing for Library Journal in the early 90's (picture calico bonnets and prairie schooners on the web...), won the Louis Shores / Oryx Press Award for Professional Reviewing, and has been working for truth, justice, and better electronic library resources ever since. Reach her at, where she's a Research Librarian at Harvard University.