January 24, 2010

RowFeeder Tracks Twitter Terms In Real-Time Database

Two weeks ago, I introduced Searchtastic's ability to search Twitter, and enable the export of any search results to a Microsoft Excel file. While Searchtastic does a good job enabling export of any search on the fly, it doesn't go deep enough for more popular terms, only offering the last few dozen. RowFeeder, one of the many offerings from Damon Cortesi, creator of TweetStats and other programs, is the first volley to launch from the mysterious Untitled Startup, and it too tries to convert Twitter search results to an actionable database. It does so through utilizing Google Docs, and already has a business model, powered by Laura Fitton's OneForty.com.

For $2.49, you can ask RowFeeder to track a Twitter search term and back up all positive hits in the next 48 hours to a Google spreadsheet. Should you need more time, such as for a 3 or 5 day conference, you can send a note to RowFeeder and ask for the time to be extended.

Setting up RowFeeder is really quite easy. You enter the term you want tracked, see if RowFeeder can do it, (The more general or popular the term, the less likely it is to work) and pay your $2.49. Upon payment, RowFeeder sends you a unique Google Docs spreadsheet link for your tracked term, and you have access.

Once this has been enabled, your spreadsheet starts filling up with tweets that match your criteria, with the username, the tweet itself, data on the sender, and time on the tweet. You can export the results, or even push the results to a live Web page, viewable by anyone.

I thought checking out RowFeeder was worth about five bucks, so I did two queries, the first being an obvious vanity search to track mentions online and see who was distributing my content, and the second, a more broad test, was to track mentions of TiVo, my favorite DVR.

The ability to make the spreadsheets public is a big bonus, and as you can see, the trend is to mine Twitter and other social media networks for Marketing or brand tracking potential. RowFeeder offers a solid solution for not a lot of money. It's not free, and doesn't enable databases for every term, like Searchtastic does, but its results are more complete, and are completely automated for future results, not just past results. You can find RowFeeder at http://www.rowfeeder.com.