While I’m waiting for a Twitter API-Key

I’m working on a series of posts about the ICanHazPDF phenomenon. You can find the latest here. What I would really like to do, is to harvest tweets with the hash-tag, and analyze the data. That requires an API-Key from Twitter. And for some reason, that is a bit difficult.

Anyway, what other data could be interesting to harvest from social media sites? Data that would actually reveal things that are not common knowledge.

LinkedIn perhaps. If activity from persons employed at a given workplace was harvested – could that data, or rather changes in that data, be used to tell something about that place?

In other words: If the data was available, would we see an increase in activity from employees at The Royal Library after the latest cutbacks were announced?

And could trends like that be used to reveal when it would be a good idea to buy or sell stock in a company?