RB Search Gizmos

RB Search Gizmos: Find and Explore the TwitterSpace of Higher Ed Institutions with Pam’s University Pin

One of my favorite games lately is creating JavaScript programs where physical space intersects with social media space. It lets me carve out little portholes and see how the physical space is represented in the social media space.

That and experimenting with domain name searches were the driving forces behind Pam’s University Pin, available at https://researchbuzz.github.io/Pam-s-University-Pin/ . You’ll need a Data.gov API key to use this gizmo; you can get one for free at https://api.data.gov/signup/ .

Screenshot from 2022-09-06 08-03-20

Pam’s University Pin (we’ll refer to it as PUP) is sort of a combination of Pam’s Pin, which lets you enter a street address and get a Twitter radius search for that address, and Super Edu Search, which lets you filter .edu Web space by various university characteristics (location, ownership type, etc.).

PUP takes a zip code, a radius, and a set of university characteristics, and does two things:

  1. Finds all higher education institutions matching those characteristics in the radius
  2. Builds the following Twitter queries:
    1. A search for all tweets within a 2km radius of the university location
    2. A search for all verified account tweets within a 2km radius of the university location
    3. A search for tweets which include the university’s domain name (any location)
    4. A search for tweets from Twitter accounts which include the university’s domain name.

All those links are presented to you in neat lists under the Search Edu Space button.

I find that looking at the verified tweets finds a lot of news personalities, but also athletes, musicians, and politicians.

Screenshot from 2022-09-06 08-25-31

The link to find domain names in tweets does just what it says on the tin. This search tends to turn up university news, information from affiliated groups, and occasional links to research or faculty information, as you can see here:

Screenshot from 2022-09-06 08-33-41

The final link is a little wonky. It’s supposed to find the institution’s domain name in the bios of Twitter account. Sometimes it just finds the word from and the institution’s domain name in a tweet. Many times, though, it finds social media accounts of affiliated groups/institutions.

Screenshot from 2022-09-06 08-37-03

With the ubiquitous use of social media and the actual profession of performative living (as practiced by bloggers, vloggers, livestreamers, vtubers, etc), I’m surprised that there aren’t more places to explore the intersection between online spaces and our physical space.

Just imagine: as AR develops, we’ll get all kinds of apps to annotate and decorate and destroy and inform a layer of information overlaid on a physical space. Objects based on but removed from that space (like pictures) will inevitably develop some connection to the AR metadata.

Famous places like Times Square will have (metaphorically) thick layers of date-based AR details (assuming anybody bothers to archive it) that will send digital archaeologists into raptures a hundred years from now. Wondering what the general mood was in front of Bubba Gump’s Seafood Co on April 10th, 2037? Break out your text analyzer and get working – there might be a thesis in it!

Categories: RB Search Gizmos

1 reply »

  1. Just giving a quick spin. How are the terms entered for query used? I did not see if they were carried through…

    I tried “climate change” for a zipcode in Fairfax VA (a colleague near there writes about how campuses are planning for climate change) – yes I go the ability to search for tweets from edu spaces in that range. Do I then add my key words?

    Pretty neat so far!

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