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Sept. 19, 2013, 2:55 p.m.

It’s a couple days old by now, but make sure you take a look at TwXplorer, the tool out of Northwestern’s Knight Lab. In addition to showing a list of recent tweets that include your search term, twXplorer displays the most popular words, hashtags, and links in those tweets.

At its core, twXplorer is a tool for searching Twitter in order to understand the global conversation about a topic. TwXplorer improves on Twitter search (and other search tools such as Topsy) by displaying the bar graph of the most common words and phrases used on Twitter in addition to whatever it was you searched for. In counting the most popular terms, twXplorer groups together any terms that have the same word stems — for instance, “president” and “presidency” are combined. Add it all up and you get a good, visual overview of what people are saying about your topic.

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