Mike Arrington is right, it’s time to start thinking of Twitter as a search engine. I’m going to tell you how powerful the data within Twitter is and how it makes Twitter’s search box much more relevant than Google’s.
SxSW Interactive and Twitter Search
Because of Twitter Search, I’ve been able to:
- Be accepted into my first SxSW panel AND get a press pass.
- Score a ride to Austin, TX from Atlanta, GA with the awesomesauce Grant Robertson, lead blogger of Download Squad, and his equally awesomesauce other half, Christina Warren of Mashable (@film_girl). Grant and Christina are residents of Atlanta. How do I know that? Twitter, not Google.
- Generate great sponsorship offers to accommodate the outrageous hotel prices for SxSW Interactive.
Today I became a panelist for the panel: Can the Afrosphere Survive the Age of Obama. I DM’d the panel moderator a few months back when it seemed she might need an extra panelist. I saw her tweet about the dilemma in a Twitter search, which wouldn’t have shown up on Google as quickly as it did on Twitter.
All of this was made possible with a few connections that gave great advice, and a lot of playing with keywords on Twitter’s search engine to find everything I needed to gain sponsorship. Twitter was where I gathered the bulk of my results. Not our beloved Google.
Paying Attention to Twitter
I came across this information simply by paying attention to the context of the tweets and who tweets were responding to. Twitter’s search engine is full of connections, but you have to pay attention to the stream. As a human powered search engine, the results are more personalized than a Google search. All in all, it has a TON of potential once the masses figure out how to use it.