Thursday, August 26, 2010

Google Launches Real Time Search Engine

Yesterday/today (this international date line thing is really confusing me!) Google launched a dedicated real-time search engine, for an up-to-the-nanosecond look at news, events and reactions. 

I'm a bit torn on real-time searches, since the bulk of it consists of tweets and Facebook posts; most people aren't that insightful in 140 characters.  Nevertheless, they do have their place in following events and both the media and popular responses to those events.

What makes the search engine different from the embedded feeds Google launched last fall in its regular search engine are the tools you can use to refine your search.

First, you can sort by location.  This is great for garnering non-U.S. reactions and opinions.  A search of Iraq troops, limited to Beirut produced 3 tweets (the low number is interesting--it might be a time-difference thing between Mongolia and the Middle East).  One was a re-tweet of a CNN post and the other a comment on the "anti-Muslim hysteria sweeping the United States" as a possible sign of impending US attack on Iraq.  Certainly fodder for discussion in any issues or policy oriented class.

You can also limit searches to news, images, video, books, etc.  One especially neat feature, if you click on the "more" button,  is the ability to follow threaded discussions.

Here's the official Google "how to."

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