Many people use Twitter as a virtual water cooler, purely for casual chat. But there’s another way to treat it: as a window into what thousands of people are talking about right now. If you’re interested in a topic or responsible for a brand, you probably want to keep an eye on keywords instead of following specific people.
Monitter is the latest service to make this simpler. A jQuery-fueled mashup that runs in your browser, Monitter lets you put in up to three keywords and automatically updates to show you any mention of those keywords across all of Twitter. It’s also available as a widget, so you can add it to your own blog or site. Build a site-specific browser for it and you’ve got yourself instant zeitgeist-tracking.