Many conferences (think the upcoming SES Toronto, for example) and news events are Twittered live by participants and visitors alike.
To help group such tweets together, to show that a tweet is about or from this event, people use hashtags. They're written like #tag
Their value? Tweets are soundbites; only the most valuable, most important, most poignant items are tweeted.
You see which statements hit home as high impact news, brilliant ideas and striking points bubble up with person after person tweeting and retweeting them.
Your collection of tweets about an event becomes your own executive summary, bringing you up to speed with what was important.
Having those collections of quotes and info-points available at all times, searchable, is a valuable source of reference.
You do know Twitter Search spans the last 30 days only, right?
Here's an April 19 tweet by me:
And here's the search for that tweet:
Your valuable hashtag information: down the the drain.
Here's how to solve that.
Your Permanent Twitter Powered News Archive
To get maximum, long-time investment value, we use Twitter Search itself. For our example we'll search for the SES Toronto hashtag #sestoronto.
Grab the link. Don't be tempted to add it to your standard newsreader; that one will grab only the last 10-20 items of that feed.
In other words: if you add SES Toronto's hashtag today your feed will soon show all the items from the 30 days before you added it!
And, as long as you don't delete the feed in Google Reader, those results stay there.
Using Google Reader's Twitter Archive
We all have our own way of making things work the way we like it in Google Reader.
So when I add the SES Toronto hashtag Twitter feed to a folder I created purely to store hashtag searches, its items don't clog my usual news stream.
Now you're free to mine that data however you want to. You can search per hashtag or in your complete folder of hashtags.
You could find a starter point for your next blog post:
research ideas about content
or write a Twitter report about the event:
How do you use Twitter and its feeds?