Twitter is My New Search Engine

I’m currently following 341 folks on Twitter. I contacted Twitter and asked them to enable ‘auto-follow’. That means that if you follow me, I automatically follow you. It’s not a documented feature nor is it in the user interface… but someone told me about it, so I requested it and Twitter graciously enabled it.

There are a lot of discussions out on the web about Twitter and that may or may not be a waste of time.

As new communication tools and technologies appear through the web there’s often a transformation in their use that, perhaps, wasn’t anticipated by its creators. Only today did I realize how much I utilize Twitter as a Search Engine, and how I’m used as a Search Engine by others. It seems to me that Twitter could eventually take quite a chunk out of some other technologies – perhaps the regional example is ChaCha, the brain-powered search engine.

ChaCha hasn’t always received the nicest press – and I have honestly never understood what the business case was for it. Humans backing search seems very inefficient. And perhaps it is… if you’re a company and not a community.

That said, the advantage of Twitter as a search engine is remarkable. I have surrounded myself with business experts, friends and colleagues that I enjoy sharing with and learning from. I respect them independently, they aren’t a stranger on the other end of the web. And as the number of people I’ve started following has become larger – so has the quality and quantity of the responses I’ve received when I post a question.

When I asked about an online photo editor, two folks immediately responded with Aviary. When I asked for a Slideshare alternative (they have been down a lot lately), I received no less than a dozen responses. AND, I was able to reply and ‘fine-tune’ my question to really find the right solution. With Twitter, I can refine my search, get opinions, and recommendations as quickly as I can click on a few results in Google.

If you’re concerned about following too many on Twitter, perhaps you can think of it with a different perspective. Twitter is my new Search Engine.

8 Comments

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    Doug, after reading your post, I just went to sign up. However, someone has used my username, so I have to change it. The only problem is, I still don’t know how to become a follower or how to follow someone. My username is dratanone. Could you please add me to your follower list? Thanks, Doug.

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    I’m definitely the same way… Maybe Social Searching re. Twitter will replace SEO… That would be my experiment – try searching for my blog 😛

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    Douglas- I’m a huge twitter fan as well. It enables you to communicate in little snippets that are the essence of what you are thinking or sharing. Plus Twitter is full of savvy early-adopters and web enthusiasts. I hadn’t heard about auto-follow, but it’s a really cool feature! Thanks for sharing that one.

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