Every reporter should be a frequent user of Twitter’s advanced search function.
I spent some time on the phone recently with a veteran reporter wanting some help in using Twitter effectively as a reporter. I’ve published lots of Twitter tips for journalists before and compiled resources for journalists using Twitter. Those extensive lists might be a little overwhelming, though, if you’re just getting started in Twitter and lacking confidence.
I’m going to take a different approach now, explaining one Twitter tip at a time, suggesting that reporters master a different tool or technique each week (or so; no promise that I’ll be able to hold to a weekly schedule).
We’ll start with Twitter’s search tools. Twitter’s basic search just added some new features, and I encourage journalists to check out its new features, including the ability to search the tweets of the people you follow. But advanced search has more useful features, especially for local news reporters.
Perhaps the most useful feature of advanced search is the ability to filter searches by location. Toward the bottom of the search form is a window, that says “near this place.” When you start filling in the name of a place, a distance tool appears with a pull-down menu that lets you set a narrow or wide radius for your search: as fine as 1 kilometer or as broad as 1,000 miles. (more…)