I spend a good amount of time checking out various websites, tools, and systems. I’ve built up my own bookmarking system so I can easily find websites and services that seem promising or hold a specific purpose. Today I’d like to share with you my list of social search websites, real time search engines, and new media/social media trending tools. We have used this list for pretty much everything but what we have found that it can be really powerful for finding your target market in digital media. You can Find out

  • Exactly what they talk about
  • What makes them take action
  • Where they hang out online
  • Trending topics

The limits are endless to the information you can gather about your target market. So we took it a step further…

We created two examples so you can see exactly how you can use the 41 real-time search tools to find your market and discover the exact message you need to create in order to connect with them and make them take action around you, your product, or your business ( Get Access ). I should also mention that while this is a pretty big list is it in no way complete.  I’ve really focused on providing the top valuable tools out there. I thought about ordering them in some cohesive way but many of these sites are branching out beyond their original purpose, so that became somewhat cumbersome. I’ve linked to all the sites by the headline and image below. Also if I’ve missed any that you think should be on this list please leave a comment below or reach out to us on Twitter. I will also mention the updates all the way at the bottom.

Social Mention

Real-time social media search and analysis. I am hoping you have discovered this site already. SocialMention allows you to search for terms across a wide array of media types from blogs, mentions, bookmarking sites, comments on blogs, events, images, news, video, audio, Q&A websites, and networks. This is the big real time search engine. Not only does it allow you a vast array of search locations it also quantifies your results it to some really interesting metrics:

  • Sentiment – ration of positive to negative
  • strength – likelihood keyword is being mentioned in the social space
  • passion – likelihood someone talking about something will do so repeatedly
  • reach – measure of the range of influence

SocialMention also further breaks it down by positive, negative, and neutral sentiment rankings. In addition you get the top keywords and top users for a particular search term. This is one of the most powerful search engines in the new media space and should be the top of your usage list.

Google Blog Search

Like LL Cool J Google Blog search has been here for years. That’s not a reason to count it out though. It’s still the go to source for blog search, blog information, and getting a general rundown on what is happening in the blog world. If you want to get a great run down on what is popular at any given moment this is the place to visit. From politics to sports Google Blog Search aggregates the top stories and shares with you the top 4 results (or relevant) posts on that subject. This is by far the best way to search blog content… so go search some blogs.

TechMeme

If your into tech or startups (and an Apple Fan) then most likely you already know about the tech aggregator TechMeme.com.  This site provides a great roundup of the most popular items in tech but as I mentioned it’s heavy on the Apple/Iphone/Ipad news. The trending topics here are pretty spot on for those who follow tech but I especially like how for most topics they give related stories. This is a great place to start for tech stories that have multiple dimensions.

BuzzFeed

buzzfeed viral searchDo you want to know what is going to go viral? I’ve found no better site out there that will predict what will be shared or is being shared (in mass) than BuzzFeed. Everything from status updates, pictures, to videos it covers the spectrum. The site contains a very social component (perfect for continuing the buzz) but also let’s  you vote on what items are destined to go viral. Buzzfeed also breaks down it’s categories into a couple main categories: LOL, OMG, Geeky, cute, WTF, trashy, games, mobile, and much more. This is a great site to find funny, interesting, and just plain strange things to share.  It also contains a pretty robust viral search feature that is a must watch if you or your target market feeds off entertainment or strange news.

BuzzSumo

buzz sumo logo A new addition to this list. BuzzSumo focuses on finding top content that most shared content across multiple social networks:

  • Discover what people are sharing the most in your niche
  • Analyze what topics, headlines, and content formats work
  • Find interesting content to curate
  • Discover guest post and interview opportunities
  • Analyze your competitors top content by entering a domain

You can search by Article, infographics, videos, guest posts, giveaways, and interviews. You can also filter by date by the last 24 hours up to the past 6 months. This is a new service to watch.

MSN Now

MSN Now LogoNot sure when you found this list (maybe just right now) but we should be slapped because MSN Now wasn’t on it until recently. How did that happen when it’s a site we check every few days? Who knows, I think it was  vast conspiracy by Google controlling our minds… after all this is site released by Microsoft (via MSN network). But thanks to a team member (Joseph T.) from MSN Now who reached out to us we’ve since fixed this travesty, now we just need to prove that whole “we landed on the  moon” thing. He also shared a little background… “We use an internal tool to see what’s trending on Bing, Twitter and Facebook and cover it”. Really that’s the reason why we check this site every few days. It allows us to find what is trending in mass culture and it does (or they do) a really good job there. We also notice from time to time that they have outlier of stories that aren’t yet trending but ultimately do enter the “internet mass consciousness”. Another great thing about this site is they go beyond just linking to a story or video, they add commentary that give really good attribution and context in entertaining way. Well worth adding as a bookmark and putting on a frequent visit list.

Hshtags

hashtags If you can forgive them for missing the “a” in hashtags this is one of the best hashtag search engine we’ve found. It allows you to easily search for #hashtags and gives you a great looking 3 column result. Also, this search isn’t just for Twitter, it also includes search for Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, and Vimeo. You also can filter by post type; text, image or video post. This is a great social search engine especially if your audience or your market is highly into #hashtags.

Blekko

Okay well Blekko is not necessarily a real time search or social search engine it’s more of a traditional search engine. I mention it because more and more I am using it as a search tool. First is the results tend to contain less spam (they have anti-spam features built in). Second the ability to easily use what is called slashtags. These are essentially commands you can add to your search to further refine the results. As I’m writing this the slashtag of the day is /dr-seuss. When you append your search term with a slashtag it will given you all relevant results that contain your term and relate to the tag you enter. The options are endless and you can create your own slashtags. If you are a little confused check out this video that explains how you can slash the web.

BoardReader

Board ReaderForums no longer get the attention they deserve (I guess they are so two thousand single digits). While traffic to forums have dipped with the rise of Facebook and Twitter they still are a great space to find your target market. What is great about BoardReader is it gives you the ability to search accross community and forum websites. Everything from Mahalo to forum websites you’ve probably never heard of. BoardReader also gives you a breakdown of trends in a great trending graph. Also the ability to search by posts, topics, forums, and images. They’ve recently added videos, microblogs, IMDB, Yuku, and Lefora. If you want to find what people in the bowels of your market is talking about this is the search engine to start with.

PopURLs

PopURLSI admit I visit this site daily. It gives me a great overview of what is popular. This is the Grand Daddy of  content aggregators. This is the site to go to if you want a full overview of what is happening in the internet and social web today. Another great feature is that you can customize the sources that show up in your dashboard. Beyond that you can switch your view from the classic view, topic view, and what is called the river view (chronological first). If you haven’t already I suggest you bookmark this site now.

Twittorati

Twittorati SearchBlogs and Twitter like two peas in a pod. Twittorati is a Technorati site where the blogosphere and twittersphere meet. In a less spherical way Twittorati follows or aggregates tweets from the biggest authority bloggers. This service gives you a wealth of options. You breaking down results by channels, top 100 blogs, top links, top blogs, latest photos, and technorati and twitter tags. The search is also a very powerful feature. Great site if you want to reference what is going on in real time and track it back to a source website. I highly suggest this site as a market research tool.

Google Trends

Google TrendsAny good real time search or trending list wouldn’t be complete without this service from Google. Want to know what your country is searching about? Visit here daily to get the top 10 topics and top 10 hot searches. If you haven’t used this service I suggest you dive in and do a few searches. The wealth of information from charting, news articles, blog posts, and web results will give you a really good feel on a trending topic.

Whos Talkin

whostalkin social searchThis site is another gem in the real time search world. The vast amount of array of search locations is staggering. What sets WhosTalkin apart is the ability to search across a wide range of networks and networks you don’t ordinarily see. Networks such as Backtype, Indeti.ca, Indianpad, Plazoo, Plurk, Tpix, Yahoo News, and hi5. The video network search is powerful by giving you the ability to search within YouTube, Blip.tv, Dailymotion, Metacafe, Viddler, Vimeo, and Yahoo Video. Bottom line is Whos Talkin is a very powerful search network.

IceRocket

IceRocket SearchI’m not sure how well a rocket built from ice would work (last time I checked ice and fire don’t mix well) but this real-time search engine is quick and fast. For some reason Ice Rocket has a subhead of blog search… but they do so much more. Search for terms within blogs, web, twitter, news, and images. The one feature that really stands out is the Big Buzz feature. Type a search term and select Big Buzz and you get top 10 results from Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, videos, and news. Even better you can select an auto-refresh rate. Very powerful tool to get a good overview of a term, brand, or search.

YouTube Trends Dashboard

YouTube TrendsDo you want to know what is trending on YouTube. While your basic personal homepage on  YouTube usually contains this info the trends dashboard gives you a little more detail. You can further specify by country, age, and gender. Finally a way to find out what 45-54 year old women are currently watching. The YouTube Trends Dashboard also contains a little known comparison engine. Compare what 25-34 year old men and 45-54 year old men watch and you’ll realize that yes men at any age still watch Lady Gaga.

LikeButton

LikeButton.comThe LikeButton.com is powered by the Facebook Like (or recommend) button and social plugins. This website gives you a great rundown of what is ‘liked’ across a wide range of websites and categories. From YouTube, Huffington Post, CNN, Slate, and Techcruch. You can also further drill down by category. The more popular categories are news, videos, pictures, apple, tech, games, and entertainment. Another great feature on this site is to see likes within your favorite sites. All you have to do is add your favorite sites to stay on top of when and what people are sharing on those sites. This is a great feature to set up for your market or your particular niche.

Addict-o-matic

Addictomatic SearchInhale the web. A site most likely not used by former President Clinton. Addict-o-matic allows you to instantly create a custom page that includes the latest buzz on just about any topic. That might sound like a basic thing but the execution is pretty powerful. After you search for a term you are displayed a page with relevant content from Twitter, Bing News, Google Blog Search, Truveo Video, YouTube, Flickr, WordPress.com, Blinkx, Wikio, Twingly, Yahoo Web Search, Friendfeed, Ask.com News, plus a whole lot more. All you have to do is add select “available sources”. This site is great for a quick snap shot of any trending topic or trending search.

FourWhere

location searchBuilt by Sysomos FourWhere brings together FourSquare, Yelp, and Gowalla. Laid out in an easy map interface you can see the comments, venues, and tips from these three services combined. Localization is the next era for the social space so I expect to see more sites like this.

TrendsMap

Twitter trends in a mapImagine you have your own satelite network orbiting around the Earth. You have all these fancy camera’s, gadgets, and measuring device. With this super high tech satelite what would you choose to plug into? How about what is trending on Twitter? Maybe… well how about what is trending on Twitter in your neighborhood? This is what TrendsMap offers. A overhead map view of Twitter trends in real time. It’s a rock solid website and it’s a great way to see want to see what is being discussed in mass within a nation, a city, or even an individual state. Another stand out feature is when you click on a trending topic on the map a list of the latest conversations show up for this trend. I find this site is a great way to see local news or local stories in  your area. It’s well worth checking out.

Omgili

message board searchOmgili (Oh My God I Love It) forum search engine lets you find communities, message boards, discussion threads about any topic. Omgili’s advanced search features make it the best search engine for forums out there. If you are looking to find people talking in message boards and threads then this search engine does a great job.

Trends Buzz

trends buzzAccording to TrendsBuzz nobody talks about them… so I’m not sure if we should continue here. Outside of that this site is a great site for checking out internet buzz in this exact moment and any moment in the past. What this site does well if give you a high level overview of the top keywords from various sources. Google hot trends, Yahoo! buzz movers, Twitter Trending, Alexa hot topics, Wikipedia trends, Blogpulse keywords, and much more. They also give a great rss feed of  what is “catching fire” right now and “hot buzz today”.

Google Insight for Search

google insightsAnother great Google mention. This site allows you to compare search volume patters by regions, categories, time frames and web properties. This is another site that gives you a wealth of data and graphs. If you are looking for some deep trending information that goes back years this is the place to start.

Twazzup

Twitter realtime newsSee the news as it happens. It goes further connect your Twitter account and you see all your updates, the highlights, photos and video, and questions. Not only that you get to see some pretty cool trending graphs. There is tons more… updates per day, updates in the last minute by the number of contacts. If you use Twitter I would suggest you check out this site.

SearchWiki (SocialSearch.com)

searchwiki social searchSearchwiki or Swicki’s purpose is to bridge the gap between searchers and relevant results. As the web grows and evolves, web search needs to grow and evolve too. Searchwiki technology improves on existing general web search by enabling vertical, community site and web searches to be initiated from any website. They have been around since 1997 and have kept up with the changes to the web and the social sphere.

NachoFoto

photo searchI know your secretly wishing for up to the minute pictures of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus–well now you have the site to fill your dreams. NachoFoto is a semantic time-based vertical image search.Yeah so what does that mean? Essentially this site allows you to see pictures shared in real-time. You can select by 12 month, last month, and this month. You also get a great trending graph and an overview of the pictures. This is a great site for finding out what images or imagery people are sharing across the open web.

TweetGrid

Twitter in gridsI can’t believe I just found this site. It’s awesome to say the least. Imagine creating a grid of twitter terms that automatically updates. Well okay, don’t imagine it let’s put it into action. Tweetgrid allows you to create a dashboard of tweets in a grid. While not the most visually appealing site out there it is an amazing engagement tool. Another great feature is the ability to do this on the latest trending topics. Plus you can choose your grid type. 1×1, 1×2, all the way to 3×3. This is my new favorite Twitter app.

Sulia

sulia twitterSulia is striving to be the best place to get updates from experts on any subject. They do this by bringing together Twitter Lists and updates by experts on specific subject matters. I see it acting as a filter for twitter that aims to give you highly relevant updates on individual subject matters such as sports, politics, tech & science, health, etc… as of this writing they have over 1,000 topics they cover. This is a good site to start with if you are working on figuring out what is important to a market. With so many lists it would also be good to find what a particular niche is talking about or sharing.

TweetTrader

TweetTrader.net logoWhat if you knew what stock was going to be hot tomorrow? You think you might be able to use that knowledge for a little financial gain? TweetTrader.net does just that.  It strives to be the most innovative forum for stock microblogs. Essentially it searches within sites like Twitter to find out the sentiment around individual stocks. It then breaks it down by what’s hot and what’s not. If you invest in the market or are in any way interested in where the stock market is headed this is one site to watch. Yes a brave new world.

Trendspottr

TrendSpottr is a new Web service that identifies real-time trends and trending information from Twitter and Facebook for any search query. Utilizing a unique set of algorithms and filtering techniques, TrendSpottr identifies and curates the top trending headlines, videos, images, phrases and hashtags for any search term or topic of interest. Discover the top trending links being shared on Twitter and Facebook right now. Uncover trending information and early insights about celebrities, brands, stocks, political stories and more. Or, enter your Twitter handle and find out what’s trending about you!

BottleNose

This is an interesting service. It pulls in your Twitter account in a really unique interface. In addition you can view global trends, top links, recent comments, looks to a be a really promising real time search and management platform. Well worth checking out.

Alternion (beta)

This was just came into our radar recently.  Unsure of how long it’s been around but it’s worth a mention. With Alternion you connect your social profiles (and they just about all of them, Facebook, FourSquare, Diigo, etc). From there it scours through your social stream to show you the most popular updates and content. There’s also an aspect of trending topics you can search, at least for photos and videos (to find that just wait for the menu to appear and select explore). While the videos seem nothing more than the most popular videos on YouTube. This is worth checking out and maybe if you connect more social networks (I only connected 2) you would get some great results.

News360

news 360 logoNews360 bills itself as the next generation news aggregation & personalization service on the mobile web. I just learned about this service about 7 days ago and so far I’m pretty hooked. You can sort news by Tops stories, local news, politics, tech, travel, plus much more. From what I could find out on the site they track more that 700K different topics across all of the news stories. The layout and functionality of the platform is nice as well. If a story has multiple sources you can easily click on the most popular sites such as (ABC News, Talking Points Memo, the Verge) or view all sources. Check out this platform.

NewsWhip

NewsWhip ranks the world’s most engaging stories by using Social Velocity- how fast every story is picking up new shares, tweets and other social engagements. Click into any topic or country and you’ll see the stories being shared and engaged with the most, right now. It’s like news 100% powered by a billion people on Facebook and Twitter. Our initial impression of this platform is positive. It’s easy to browse and within the first viewing we found some unique content to share and curate. It also appears to have a proprietary rating system, at least that’s what it looks the number next to the ‘w’  you see on stories might signify. This platform might make it to our top 10 of listening platforms for curation… NewsWhip looks like it’s a free version of a more robust tool by a company called Spike (isn’t that a TV channel?). Here’s some more info there Spike Team gives newsrooms and mid-size organizations live access to the content that’s engaging the world right now. Spike tracks over 30,000 sources and finds the most engaging content, minute by minute, in thousands of locations and topics. Spike Team users have full use of the Spike dashboard, email alerts, and discussion view of the chatter around every story.

Swayy

Swayy helps you discover the most engaging content to share with your audience on social media based on their interests and engagement. This site helps you find the best articles, videos, infographics and more to share with your audience. They strive to give you relevant #hashtags and @handles so you can share better.  In addition, you get analytics show you what content is the most effective for growing your community. Not all of this is included in the free version which you can easily sign up for with Facebook or Twitter. There are quite a few of these type of platforms out there and based on our usage over the last few weeks Swayy appears to be in the top tier of these platforms.

DotMos.com

dotmos-logoSearch everything. Discover something new. The modern web is more than text and websites. Search the web, social media and more with dotmos!

Sites Worth Mentioning

I’ve included this section here because some of the sites I’ve bookmarked or use are in the middle of a pivot or new direction. So as these sites change or update what they do I will add them to the list above.

  • http://collecta.com/ – This site and SocialMention (listed above) are my favorite sites… or they were. Collecta has since pivoted but I’m interested to see what is next.
  • http://itstrending.com/ – trending engine but it looks broke so it’s hard to say what is happening here.
  • http://www.booshaka.com/– Something bigger and better is coming.
  • http://facepinch.com/ – Facebook search but to much annoying stuff going on… still thought I’d mention it
  • http://almost.at/ – I like the idea of this site but I can rarely get it to work, it tries to give you an overview of text, photos, videos, and links
  • http://thesocialcv.com/– Used to be above as Buzzy, but they’ve changed to organizing the real time global talent.
  • http://datasift.com/ – the missing link in social engagement… this is the team behind TweetMeme.

That’s a long list of sites and I’ll work hard on keeping this list up to date. If I missed any please share below or send us an email or Twitter update at http://twitter.com/YouBrandInc.

Updates

  • January 12th, removed Stuff to Tweet, SamePoint, Topsy, What the Trend, Sency, PostPost, Spy, RT.ly, TL;DR, SeeSaw, digginthefuture.com.
  • January 10th, added Dotmos.com
  • January 10th, removed Kurrently, 48ers
  • March 5th added: PopURLs and StuffToTweet.com.
  • March 8th added: Trendsmap
  • March 15th added: PostPost for Facebook
  • March 18th added: Spy
  • March 21st added: NachoFoto and  TweetGrid
  • March 22nd added: Postpo.st
  • March 25th added: Sulia
  • April 6th added: TweetTrader.net
  • September 9th removed: Leapfish
  • January 16th added Trendspottr
  • October 2nd, added Bottlenose
  • October 24th, Removed OpenBook, for some reason that cool site went away.
  • October 25th, added rt.ly
  • October 27th, added alternion.
  • November 9th, added News360
  • November 21st, added TL;DR
  • November 21st, removed OpenFacebookSearch, turned into some spam site
  • November 21st, moved Buzzy (which became theSocialCV) to sites worth mentioning section
  • November 22nd, removed TweetMeme as they closed shop and added their new product Datasift to sites of mention
  • November 22nd, removed Evrii as we couldn’t resolve the host… unsure of what happened there.
  • November 22nd, removed Blogpulse, TweetBeat, Postpo.st as they shut down as well.
  • November 23rd, added Buzzsumo and Hshtags
  • December 7th, thanks to team member at MSN Now we added that site to the list.
  • May 9th, added Swayy and NewsWhip both really good additions to the list.