How to Search Twitter Lists using FriendFeed

Searching Twitter Lists can be incredibly useful. What are the most influential tech people saying about Droid vs. iPhone? What are leading tech blogs saying about the Microsoft Azure platform? What do experienced investors think of the economy? The possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination.

The problem? Twitter’s Advanced Search doesn’t support specifying Lists as a “From” parameter, because Twitter’s Search Operators don’t support Lists as of this writing. Neither do third-party search engines like Searchtastic, Twazzup, Topsy, etc. I came up with a workaround to this problem using FriendFeed and it works like a charm! Follow these two steps just once for each Twitter List you want to search.

I will use my Techmeme Leaderboard 50 list as an example.

Step 1: Get the RSS Feed for the Twitter List

Go to Twitter Lists To RSS and enter your Twitter List URL.


Get the RSS feed for your Twitter List and save the link.

RSS Feed Created

Step 2: Create a Group on FriendFeed

On FriendFeed, create a Group with a suitable name. You can choose to keep it private or make it public to share it with others.

Create FF Group

Add the RSS Feed created for your Twitter List in Step 1 as a Service of the Group.

Twitter List RSS Feed in FF Group

Search Your Twitter List!

You are all set. You can add the Group to your FriendFeed sidebar for quick access, and search any keywords as shown below.

Search FF Group

Here is how you will see the results, including the links in the tweet you can jump to directly.

Search FF Group Results

Found several “tech pundits” lists and you can’t decide which is the best one to use as a search reference? Simply add the RSS feeds for all of them to your FriendFeed Group! This way, you can become a “super-curator” of Twitter Lists created by others.

FriendFeed Groups are a powerful way to follow, search, mix, and share Twitter Lists. But we already knew FriendFeed was incredibly powerful, right?

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  • renevranc

    Thx for the post
    How much lines Friendfeep keeps in memory ?

  • You're welcome. FriendFeed archives everything. No limits! 🙂

  • renevranc

    Google reader offers the same service no need to make a group
    Just subscribe to the rss feed.

  • I did consider that, however there are two possible irritants:

    1. Large lists with many tweets may slow down Google Reader.
    2. You will always see an unread count, which is another irritant.

    Thus, if you just want to search occasionally, FriendFeed is a better option, IMO.

  • Thank you for this. This is one of those things that I hadn't realized I needed yet, but once I read it I realize the value of being able to search the lists.

  • Спасибо за полезный материал. … хочу знать больше о Twitter…где можно взять материалы…Спасибо

  • This is extremely useful. Thanks a lot for sharing!