For some, a little Twitter search ain’t enough. And for them, there’s Tweetgrid, a fully customizable Twitter search tool for tracking multiple keyword-based searches in real time. With up to 10 realtime searches flowing through it any given time, a Tweetgrid can start to look like your personalized mission control. And one of Tweetgrid’s key features, the ability to share the customized dashboard (which can be made very much on the fly) by posting the url has made it an invaluable resource to those hosting hashtag chats and the like.
For instance, a group of skittish Middle Eastern despots might want to monitor multiple Twitter rebellions at once, or if a group of sports writers host a Twitter chat during tonight’s Mets game they can create columns for “Mets” and “Phillies” to feed all of the Twitter chatter on the two teams playing; a column with all of the participants Twitter names; a column with the hashtag of their chat; and then, say, a few more keyword searches to help keep the conversation lively and informed: with searches for say “Madoff” and the pitcher’s names or maybe just simply “baseball.”
In a nice touch, the streams embed images and video. Messages can also be replied to directly from Tweetgrid, but this is a bit awkward, requiring a sign in each time.
These functions in and of themselves would make Tweetgrid, which was created by developer @jazzychad, a nice tool to use in a pinch (since it can be accessed from any browser and without an account and set up very quickly). What pushes it over the edge in a crowded field and what separates Tweetgrid from arguably more elegant tools, is the ability to share the entire grid, making this a truly social monitoring tool.
So, in our example of the Mets-Phillies chat, our sportswriters would share this customized link on Twitter, easily and quickly arming anyone who’s interested with the same information.
There are plenty of uses for Tweetgrid beyond this, but with this public-facing element it’s easy to see when people are using the tool for their hashtag chats. The site itself posts a constantly updating link to a grid based on trending topics, but this should not be stared out too long or intensely, for it is like staring into the sun — an especially vapid and nonsensical sun.