Millennials I assumed would be more tech-savvy than a Gen Xer, now the wrong side of 40 (me). So when I suggested they use the from: operator to search in Twitter I expected they would know what I meant but I was wrong. A discussion ensued and I learnt they hadn't heard of the search operators I use daily across all sorts of platforms.
For the uninitiated, a search operator is something that can be used in search boxes to refine the results returned. So why should you bother using these when you've been happily searching all these years without them? They give you more of the results you want, speeding up your work, making your life easier.
A brief bit of background: these operators are often referred to as Boolean operators. The British mathematician George Boole devised the core operators AND, OR & NOT in the mid 19th Century as a new algebraic logic. Subsequently, they have been used extensively across most computer programming languages.
My colleague, Jenna asked me to share some of these operators that could help her and you use Passle, Twitter, any search engine, your emails and any application with a search function.
|Operator with example||Description|
|millennial AND technology||must include both terms|
|twitter OR LinkedIn||can include one or both terms|
|consultant NOT lawyer||returns results with the first term but excludes any containing the second term|
|"Exact Phrase"||searches for exactly what you put in the quotation marks, in that order|
|to:firstname.lastname@example.org||searches for anything sent to the name, handle or address you enter after the colon|
|from:email@example.com||searches for anything from a name, handle or address entered after the colon|
|(Connor AND Eugene) NOT Jenna||performs the search in brackets first and then the rest of the logic|
There are more operators than I've listed above but these are the ones I use most frequently. Just remember to capitalise AND, OR & NOT
You won't break any platform you try using these on. So give them a go and make your life a little bit easier.
Twitter is planning to improve its in-platform search offering for advertisers, admitting that it “could be a whole lot better”.