Searching on Twitter: health literacy

Todd Vandenbark

logo for TwitterTwitter is the microblogging and networking platform where anyone can post (“tweet”) content or links to other content using only 140 characters. Topics can be labeled by putting a hash tag (“#”) in front of a single (such as #cancer) or compound word (such as #informationliteracy). If you search for a given topic, the results are like a snapshot of what Twitter users are thinking and writing on that subject. Searches can be saved, and with Twitter’s application programming interface (API), search information can be pulled and analyzed.

Here are a few examples of what’s being discussed (tweeted about) on health literacy (#healthliteracy) on Twitter:

At first, even this author was skeptical of Twitter. But when one can sample what is of current interest on any given topic instantly, it becomes clear the value this platform has.

What topics do you follow on Twitter? If you have used it for research or to take the pulse of people on a particular subject, how helpful have you found it to be? Tell us!