What a coinkydink! I’ve been doing a big physical plant project at work this week, and when I woke up this morning my back went Twing! And then I come home from work and read about a new resource called Twing, at www.Twing.com. That resource is not about backs, however; it’s about finding online discussion groups and posts.
Twing has a directory of discussion forums, and a “buzz” section that shows the most popular links and forums, but I’m going to stick to the search form. That’ll keep me busy enough because it has three tabs – one for posts, one for topics, and one for finding forums. (A preference link lets you set your filter level and specify how many results you want on a page.)
I searched for chiropractor. In the posts box it got me over 9,000 results, with search results showing what appears to be the name of the thread, a snippet, when it was posted, how many replies and how many view it’s had (very useful) and where it was posted. Though you could see when something was posted I didn’t see a way to sort results by date, but you could limit your results by a date range — look at the left side of a search results page for an extensive set of ways to filter your results further.
On the topic forum, the same search got me 99 results, with the results limited to the name of the topic, the posting date, and the replies and the views (no snippets, in other words.) And the search in the Forum tab brought no results at all. Here you would have to be very general. Even baseball found only six results, with the name of the forum and URL.
When you’re looking at search results for any of the tabs, look out for this little INFO icon. If you click on it you’ll get a graph of that forum’s posting activity over time. A very handy thing to have if you’re trying to find a place to monitor for information or to you join. (How much activity can you stand?)
If you’re at a loss for what to search, you can check out popular posts and community searches on the front page. (“Chips Ahoy”? “Hydrogen”?) Twing also has a blog, but so far I see only one post…