J. Phil is a guest author who maintains the blog scribkin – where code and culture converge.
Twitter is all about instant response and lively conversation. So when you want to look up some recent tweets that someone you know has sent, but they’ve been quiet for a while, you are forced to use the Twitter search feature to find them or (gulp) type their handle into the command line! Well, almost simultaneously it seems, two small search plugins for Firefox have appeared that attempt to resolve those issues.
The first one is called TweeterSearch by Owen Cutajar (@OwenC).
It is a quick install, adding itself to your list of custom search engines. From there, you can select it from the pull-down search engine list to the right of the address bar.
Once selected, just type in the name (or a good guess) of the twitter users you are searching for and it will send you directly to the built-in Twitter search results page. Once there, you can select the correct account.
The second plugin is called GoTwit, it is created by Marjolein Hoekstra (@twtooltrack).
GoTwit is very similar in principle to TweeterSearch, but it appears that the site for adding the search plugin is not quite ready for prime-time yet. However, it installs the same way. Once installed, it behaves slightly differently than TweeterSearch, in that instead of always linking to Twitter’s search facility, it merely attempts to use your search parameter as the basis for a redirect URL.
What this means, in plain English, is that if you know the exact spelling of the twitter users you are trying to find, it saves a step, because you go directly to their Twitter page. If you get their spelling wrong, you may be sent to someone completely different, or to a Twitter 404 page. The plugin will never redirect you to the search results page.
With both of these, and in fact all Firefox search plugins, you can assign a search keyword to quickly invoke these search engines from the address (or location) bar.
Here are the quick steps to get a keyword set up:
- In Firefox, go to your Google search bar and click on the G icon
- Select Manage Search Engines… from the bottom of the list
- In the new window that appears, select TweeterSearch or GoTwit (if you have them both installed)
- Click on Edit Keyword…
- Type in the new keyword for that search. As you can see in my screenshot, I used ts for TweeterSearch and gt for GoTwit
- Click OK to exit the Keyword window
- Click OK to exist the Manage window
- You’re done!