Easing the Search for Twitterers

    December 29, 2008
    Chris Crum

Twellow, our tool that has made finding fellow Twitterers with common interests easier for a number of users has just made searching for these people even more convenient. You can add special characters to your queries to enhance your search.

If you are unfamiliar with Twellow, think about it as a yellow-pages service for finding people on Twitter.  You can search for things or browse the directory to find people who tweet about the topics you are interested in.


These functions were poitned out by Greg Lambert at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, and we decided to make them public knowledge. Lead Twellow Developer Matthew Daines says:

By using these characters in your search you can narrow your search down or broaden it to include people you might not otherwise find in a simple search. For example, if you want to find all people on Twellow that identify themselves as having something to do with dogs OR cats in New York, try this:

(dog | cat) (”new york” | nyc)

Here’s what you can do:

Operator Example
& Search for people matching ALL terms, e.g. CEO & Kentucky will match anyone that has CEO AND Kentucky in their profile. This is the default behavior, so CEO Kentucky is the same as CEO & Kentucky.
| Search for people matching ANY terms, e.g. Kentucky | KY will match anyone that has Kentucky OR KY in their profile.
" " Search for people matching AN EXACT PHRASE by enclosing the phrase in QUOTES, e.g. "Lexington Kentucky" will match anyone that has Lexington Kentucky in their profile, but NOT those that have Lexington, central Kentucky.
Search for people with a PHRASE EXCLUDED, e.g. Lexington -MA will match anyone that has Lexington KY OR Lexington NC, etc. in their profile, but NOT those that have Lexington MA.
( ) Search for people matching GROUPS OF PHRASES, e.g. (NC | KY) Lexington will match ONLY those that have Lexington KY OR Lexington NC, etc. in their profile, but NOT those that have Lexington Kentucky OR Lexington MA, etc..
Combined Search operators can be COMBINED to produce more complex matching, e.g. ("New York City" | NYC) | ("united kingdom" | UK) "web developer" | "web designer" will match web developers or web designers in either New York City OR the United Kingdom.

If you wish to keep this table for reference, you can simply bookmark our Twellow Search Tips page, which may grow over time.

Don’t forget that you can also use Twellow to find Twitterers in your own city by using the TwellowHood feature, which is so far available in the U.S. and Canada (with more countries to come).