Twitter: Now a Thought Leader Gets It

April 16, 2009

I was delighted to read Steve Espinosa’s “How Twitter Will Win Local Search” here. The story appeared in Silicon Alley Insider. I have been reluctant to post my specific views of Twitter because I sell these addled ideas to even more addled clients. But when something runs in the pulsing “blogosphere”, I want to call attention to the information. One useful function of Twitter is providing very timely, quite specific information about local activities. At lunch, one of the goslings monitors Tweets flowing in real time from Twitter users in the Louisville area. (We don’t get many Tweets in Harrod’s Creek. Ground hogs and possums have yet to acquire iPhones.) Why is this important? The young goslings at ArnoldIT.com use it to locate lunch specials. One of the perks of putting up with the addled goose is a company provided meal at a sit down restaurant every work day. The Twitter thing works like a champ, and it gave me the confidence in my new Google: The Digital Gutenberg to assert that the Google may find itself on the outside looking in with regard to real time search.

Mr. Espinosa said:

You actually have a profitable revenue source that may not be the end all be all model, but will be a huge chuck of revenue that does not interrupt the user experience but actually makes it better.

I think he may be on the trail leading toward a business model. A happy quack to him for posting this analysis. The trick to understanding real time search is to think in terms of the utility of lots of eyeballs and users who may have an answer to a particular, location-centric query. The next step is to think about monetization options as Mr. Espinosa has. Will Twitter be the winner in this space? Who knows. Will some company emerge as an oxygen hog? Absolutely.

Stephen Arnold, April 16, 2009

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