April 5, 2009
The timing could not have been better, just as Facebook and MySpace had exhausted its audiences with an overwhelming flood of information, high school reunions, what kind of dog you would be and what you looked like puking at that party last night, along comes a sleek, streamlined and simple social media tool that is taking the world by storm.
Twitter is so much more than people think it is.
When friends ask me what Twitter is they usually preface the question by saying "oh its like your status on Facebook, right?" and my answer is always no!
The best place to start defining Twitter is the dictionary.
1. Twitter - a state of tremulous excitement.
2. Twitter - to talk lightly and rapidly, esp. of trivial matters; chatter.
3. Twit - To taunt, ridicule, or tease, especially for embarrassing mistakes or faults.
Twitter is a true conduit of human chatter and a concise and exacting form of communication that forces each and every person using it to get as creative as they possibly can within 140 characters or less.
Twitter is not just a medium but a concept that is being chatted about in every media circle around the world. People are Twittering about Twitter, writing news stories about Twitter, blogging, Facebooking, IMing and emailing about Twitter.
Erick Shonfeld wrote in a TechCrunch article published on February 15,2009 where he captures the true essence of what Twitter is all about. He writes "What makes Google and other search engines so valuable is that they capture people’s intent—what they are looking for, what they desire, what they want to learn about. But they don’t do a great job at capturing what people are doing or what they are thinking about. For thoughts and events that are happening right now, searching Twitter increasingly brings up better results than searching Google."
Twitter is Chatter. Chatter is water, water flows and needs to be channeled. Twitter does that by allowing people to create their own chatter channels. In doing so the public creates organic content pools that are worth a lot of money to brands that want to know what people are saying.
Twitter somehow managed to trump Facebook's social appeal and demolish Google's search relevancy. I recently tested how good Twitter could be as a search engine. By typing in a search term I got tons of human responses to the term I was looking for.
After missing yesterday's final four games I went to Search.Twitter.com and typed in "Michigan State" I was BLOWN AWAY with the expressions, the links, the references, the history, the excitement, the drama and the relevancy to the NOW!
I got links to local websites in Michigan that gave me an insight and experience that was so much better than the dry ESPN and CNNSI coverage that Google would have led me to. I got fan reaction, I got pictures from the game and I got a slice of time captured at the exact moment that it happened. To be completely honest, it was pretty exhilarating.
The search is alive, as I looked through the various links and reactions I got a message telling me that I should refresh my page because more results have come in.
I was really happy that I was living in the now and indexing the world as it is at this very moment and not at the mercy of the mighty Google index that does what it wants when it wants and no one knows why or how links get to the top of a search.
There is no mystery behind Twitter, its human, its real, its alive and its growing.
Remember in the movie The Dark Knight, when Batman was looking for the Joker, he decided to use a tool that was able to tap into the chatter of everyone in the city and by doing so he emulated the way a bat uses sonar to see, basically creating a picture of exactly what is going on in the world. That is Twitter!!
I am very excited about what is in store for Twitter, I haven't been this excited in a long time and that lingering question about the Google buster and the next Killer App has just been answered, in less than 140 characters.