Twitter lists are a beautiful thing, a great way to gather together expert opinion on any topic. If you thought Twitter's own search was bad at retrieving archival conversations, though, is archival search of Twitter lists too much to dream of?
It may not be anymore, thanks to a startup called Nsyght. Nsyght has been around for a few years now, and it does a whole lot of things for and beyond Twitter, but the service's newest feature is what really moves the needle for me: The ability to filter and search the archives of the lists of people I'm following. I can see what Chris Grayson's Augmented Reality Peeps list has said about Google over the past few months, or what the members of the Enterprise Irregulars said about the much-tweeted #Workday analyst demo event earlier this week. Hello, useful!
The service isn't perfect, and founder Geoffrey McCaleb says it takes a few minutes after a user creates an account on it for his work-around of the Twitter API to archive a backlog of all your followed accounts.
It appears the archives are going back about two months right now, and it sure would be nice to see them go back further. Google's new Realtime search today went back to February of this year. Times prior to that may forever be known as the Dark Era, before anyone other than Twitter was caching the firehose so that it could be searched.
For a bootstrapping team that says it can't afford the price Twitter charges for its Firehose, this is pretty good. I was unsatisfied last night, but woke up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to search the archives of the lists I was subscribed to. The system is far from perfect, but it's also far better than anything else I've found to fulfill this function. Thanks Nsyght!