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Friday, March 11, 2011

Topsy - Real-time Search of the Social Web

Topsy is a search engine that scours the Internet for the most recent and most talked about links, images, and Tweets on the web.

To use Topsy just enter a search term like you would with any other search engine. The difference with Topsy is that your results are ranked according to how much a link or image has been discussed or shared on the web. The more something has been shared or discussed, the higher it ranks in results. You can sort your results by links, images, Tweets, or "experts." Experts in Topsy's rankings are people and organizations that are linked to most frequently compared to other sources. You can also narrow your search results according to time of posting on the web. For example, you can narrow your results to just links that have appeared in the last hour.

Applications for Education
Topsy and other real-time search engines are quite useful for finding up to the minute resources during major events worldwide. This morning I used a different real-time search engine called Mashpedia to find some videos, images, and news stories about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to share with my students. I could have just as easily used Topsy for the same purpose.