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What is a seed? How should I choose what seed(s) to use?

Last Updated: May 21, 2015
A seed is a term that Compass will use to identify relevant/related tweets or messages.  

You need at least one seed to create a project. Additional seeds should only be added if they are not directly related to your original seed (e.g. a variation on the same word) but are something you want to make sure you capture.  You do not need to add misspellings or synonyms of a word as separate seeds, for instance, but you may want to include both "World Cup" and "FIFA" if you want to understand what people are saying about each of those specific terms. Notice that you can have a multi-word phrase for a seed such as "World Cup". The project will listen to that multi-word seed exactly as is; it will not listen to the individual pieces of "world" or "cup". (For Compass API users only: multi-word phrases must be specified within quotation marks.) 

We support a number of additional operators for seed terms. Seeds can be a hashtag or a Twitter handle such as #WorldCup2014 or @ussoccer. Projects may also include negative seeds to your project (indicated by a hyphen, so a negative seed might be "- football"). These are words or phrases that indicate messages that are not relevant to your project and that you want to exclude from the conversation.  Note that a project may not specify more than fifty negative seeds.

Best Practice: In general, the more specific a seed term is, the better.  We often find that general terms such as "Android" tend to be used primarily by bots and spammers, rather than as a genuine topic of conversation.    

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