We have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. It’s a journalistic necessity, a prime source for stories both breaking and obscure, an infinite time-suck and a wasteland for antisocial malcontents, failed comedians and partisan political junkies.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the Twitter experience is an inability to use it effectively for research purposes since searches always highlight the most recent and most popular tweets. No more. Topsy‘s recent creation of a comprehensive Twitter archive containing every single tweet sent since the service debuted in 2006 gives PR pros an invaluable research tool.

“425 billion tweets, videos, images, blog posts, and pins” constitutes a whole hell of a lot of information, and with these updates the service promises to more effectively help you separate signal from noise.

Here are the ways to use Topsy’s new index effectively. You can:

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