Tools for Transparency: Use Topsy to Track Your Content


Topsy logoTopsy is a real-time search engine that pulls links from Twitter and Google+ to help you gauge popular content and trending topics.

A quick search for tweets over the past 24 hours from the Sunlight Foundation reveals related posts and direct links to our content, as well as sites that mention Sunlight by name. Digging a little deeper, we see how related content is faring through the number of tweets, the influence of a link and its momentum, velocity and peak.

This Washington Examiner piece, which mentions a post by Sunlight’s Bill Allison,  has garnered 60 tweets and, as you can tell in the screenshot of Topsy analytics below, appears to be picking up momentum.

Topsy analytics

Topsy also allows you to sort by time frame, content type, language, date and relevance. Although you can filter through Twitter or Google+, you can’t do both simultaneously. The advanced search gives you a few more options — like search by referencing site — which I find to be highly useful. (To get a good sense of this feature, click to take a look at the results for Sunlight posts related specifically to Huffington Post.) Another useful feature of Topsy is the alert tool: You can subscribe to keyword alerts by email and RSS feed, which will help you stay on top of trending content.

Other uses?

  • Monitor the popularity of a specific keyword over the past so many days.
  • Track popular images and videos related to your terms of interest.
  • Determine authoritative sources related to a hashtag or keyword.
  • Push the conversation forward by sharing your search results.

What do you find useful about Topsy? Do you have any tips you can share?