Yesterday Twitter added a new feature called People Search (although Aaron Hockley remembers this as the Once and Future Feature). The unobtrusive search box in the right sidebar containing the grayed text “Find folks!” is where you begin.
With People Search, you can not only find someone by their username, you can also search on any of the published fields in their profile: real name, location, bio, and url (or parts thereof). You don’t specify which fields to search — it automatically searches all of them.
So now, if you can remember a first name and the city you were in, you might be in luck — and you can then peruse the resulting pics to be certain of your target, er I mean, acquaintance.
Location search seems to be ignorant of geography. Searching for “Seattle” doesn’t return people in nearby areas like Bainbridge Island. It has to find the word “Seattle” somewhere in their profile.
The search algorithm does appear to understand some alternate word formations, though. For instance, if you search for “geeks”, you also get quite a number of results that contain only “geek”. Searching for “chatty” includes formations like “chattie” (Hi, Tish!)
A search on “geeksaresexy” predictably leads to Kiltak with a match on both username and domain name, but oddly a search for “geeksare” finds nothing. “Geeks are sexy” (with spaces) apparently considers the “are” superfluous and returns results containing both of the other two words (a grand total of 6 people consider themselves to be both geeks and sexy as of this writing), but not when combined into a single term, as in Kiltak’s profile.
No, I’m not stalking Kiltak. I rounded out the information in my own profile in order to test this feature, but apparently the search engine requires some time to index new data.
Me, I’m still not on board the Twitter bandwagon. I have enough trouble keeping up with all of the blogs to which I contribute. Do you use Twitter? Will People Search make your world a better place?