Twitter and the Collective Consciousness

By David Gould, President

Twitter recently announced an additional $35mm in capital funding (on top of an existing $20mm) and its intention to walk away from an enticing Facebook offer of $500mm in stock and cash. This is no doubt an indication of their confidence to monetize the Tweets that are Twitter. Among the ideas they’ve floated is leveraging search in some way. Already the Twitter search page looks eerily familiar …

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Twitter Search Page
Users can search Twitter for relevant tweets to satisfy their queries, but what’s really intriguing is the potential to leverage the Twitter-verse in real time as Michael Learmonth points out. Current search engines scour volumes of existing content to provide a response to a query. Conversely, Twitter has the potential to draw on content that hasn’t even been created yet, i.e. the collective, real-time, consciousness of the so called Twitter-verse … post a question on Twitter and wait for the responses to flood in … the collective knowledge of all those individual Twitterers (or is that Tweeters) at your fingers in a moment’s notice.

At the risk of being labeled a geek, it sounds like The Borg, the evil Star Trek alien race that is an amalgamation of countless species, along with their knowledge, absorbed into a “Collective” where individuals lose their identity to become part of one collective consciousness … and no, I’ve never been to a Star Trek convention. Now Twitter is not The Borg, although some might equate the difficulty in figuring out how to make money on Twitter to that of defeating The Borg.

So how does one monetize the collective consciousness of the Twitter-verse? Good question, nobody’s nailed down the revenue model as of yet, but as a search marketer who connects his clients to their customers through queries, I’m saying to myself, “How do my clients respond dynamically, in real time and with yet-to-be-created content to capture the opportunity at the moment of inquiry?” If you’ve got the answer, I’d love to hear it. But in the meantime, it sounds like we’d better join the collective ... “resistance is futile.”


Dave McAnally said...

I've been thinking about this a lot actually. A lot of bloggers seem to view Twitter as the next big thing in search. I'm not to sure.

Terrell Owens is one of the most popular searches on Twitter today according to their search homepage.

I question how useful this data is"Terrell+Owens"

Compared to


I think Twitter is good at collecting hordes of real time data, but it isn't really good at putting said data in context of anything to make it useful. Yet at least.

I think tools like this will be required to make Twitter's data useful to the average person


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