One such example is when people use the phrase “I work for” followed by the name of a company. This is a great technique on any search engine, but it’s particularly useful on blog search engines because people love to talk about themselves. With Twitter being a microblog (only 140 characters allowed in a post) the brief comments offer little other information. But this is one of those short phrases where the context tells us much more than the text itself.
For example, a search for “I work for Microsoft” reveals a few people like:
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Among others, of course. Now, that in and of itself is not very revealing. Other than knowing where they work, you can’t really tell what they do…unless, of course, you see their other posts. For example, in one of ThatGuyNamedKen’s posts you find out on April 18 he got a job offer from Microsoft to be a “Support Operations Analyst.”
“Great, Shally, but now where does he live and how do I contact him?”
Well, that’s a bit harder. If you look at his profile, you can tell he lives in Winnipeg (Canada, of course). As for contacting him, though, unless you want to commit to some CyberSleuthing, it’s probably easiest to just “follow” him on Twitter. Then you can send him a private twit by texting 40404 with a message that starts with @thatguynamedken: followed with a short (140 characters or less) message.