Creative destruction … Google slayed by the Notificator?

The web has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to evolve and leave embedded franchises struggling or in the dirt.    Prodigy, AOL were early candidates.   Today Yahoo and Ebay are struggling, and I think Google is tipping down the same path.    This cycle of creative destruction — more recently framed as the innovators dilemma — is both fascinating and hugely dislocating for businesses.    To see this immense franchises melt before your very eyes — is hard to say the least.   I saw it up close at AOL.    I remember back in 2000, just after the new organizational structure for AOL / Time Warner was announced there was a three day HBS training program for 80 or so of us at AOL.   I loath these HR programs — but this one was amazing.   I remember Kotter as great (fascinating set of videos on leadership, wish I had them recorded), Colin Powell was amazing and then on the second morning Clay Christensen spoke to the group.    He is an imposing figure, tall as heck, and a great speaker — he walked through his theory of the innovators dilemma, illustrated it with supporting case studies and then asked us where disruption was going to come from for AOL?    Barry Schuler — who was taking over from Pittman as CEO of AOL jumped to answer.   He explained that AOL was a disruptive company by its nature.    That AOL had disruption in its DNA and so AOL would continue to disrupt other businesses and as the disruptor its fate would be different.     It was an interesting argument — heart felt and in the early days of the Internet cycle it seemed credible.   The Internet leaders would have the creative DNA and organizational fortitude to withstand further cycles of disruption.    Christensen didn’t buy it.     He said time and time again disruptive business confuse adjacent innovation for disruptive innovation.   They think they are still disrupting when they are just innovating on the same theme that they began with.   As a consequence they miss the grass roots challenger — the real disruptor to their business.   The company who is disrupting their business doesn’t look relevant to the billion dollar franchise, its often scrappy and unpolished, it looks like a sideline business, and often its business model is TBD.    With the AOL story now unraveled — I now see search as fragmenting and Twitter search doing to Google what broadband did to AOL.


Video First

Search is fragmenting into verticals.     In the past year two meaningful verticals have emerged — one is video — the other is real time search.   Let me play out what happened in video since its indicative of what is happening in the now web. is now the second largest search site online — YouTube generates domestically close to 3BN searches per month — it’s a bigger search destination than Yahoo.     The Google team nailed this one.    Lucky or smart — they got it dead right.    When they bought YouTube the conventional thinking was they are moving into media —  in hindsight — its media but more importantly to Google — YouTube is search.     They figured out that video search was both hard and different and that owning the asset would give them both a media destination (browse, watch, share) and a search destination (find, watch, share).  Video search is different because it alters the line or distinction between search, browse and navigation.       I remember when Jon Miller and I were in the meetings with Brin and Page back in November of 2006 — I tried to convince them that video was primarily a browse experience and that a partnership with AOL should include a video JV around YouTube.     Today this blurring of the line between searching, browsing and navigation is becoming more complex as distribution and access of YouTube grows outside of    44% of YouTube views happen in the embedded YouTube player (ie off and late last year they added search into the embedded experience.    YouTube is clearly a very different search experience to       A last point here before I move to real time search.    Look at the speed at which YouTube picked up market share.  YouTube searches grew 114% year over year from Nov 2007 to Nov 2008!?!     This is amazing — for years the web search shares numbers have inched up in Google favor — as AOL, Yahoo and others inch down, one percentage point here or there.    But this YouTube share shift blows away the more gradual shifts taking place in the established search market.     Video search now represents 26% of Google’s total search volume.


The rise of the Notificator

I started thinking about search on the now web in earnest last spring.    betaworks had invested in Summize and the first version of the product (a blog sentiment engine) was not taking off with users.   The team had created a tool to mine sentiments in real-time from the Twitter stream of data.    It was very interesting — a little grid that populated real time sentiments.   We worked with Jay, Abdur, Greg and Gerry Campbell to make the decision to shift the product focus to Twitter search.   The Summize Twitter search product was launched in mid April.   I remember the evening of the launch — the trending topic was IMAP — I thought “that cant be right, why would IMAP be trending”, I dug into the Tweets and saw that Gmail IMAP was having issues.    I sat there looking at the screen — thinking here was an issue (Gmail IMAP is broken) that had emerged out of the collective Twitter stream — Something that an algorithmically based search engine, based on the relationships between links, where the provider is applying math to context less pages could never identify in real time.

A few weeks later I was on a call with Dave Winer and the Switchabit team — one member of the team (Jay) all of a sudden said there was an explosion outside.   He jumped off the conference call to figure out what had happened.    Dave asked the rest of us where Jay lived — within seconds he had Tweeted out “Explosion in Falls Church, VA?”  Over the nxt hour and a half the Tweets flowed in and around the issue (for details see & click on the picture above).    What emerged was a minor earthquake had taken place in Falls Church, Virginia.    All of this came out of a blend of Dave’s tweet and a real time search platform.  The conversations took a while to zero in on the facts — it was messy and rough on the edges but it all happened hours before main stream news, the USGS or any “official” body picked it up the story.  Something new was emerging — was it search, news — or a blend of the two.   By the time Twitter acquired Summize in July of ’08 it was clear that Now Web Search was an important new development.

Fast forward to today and take a simple example of how Twitter Search changes everything.    Imagine you are in line waiting for coffee and you hear people chattering about a plane landing on the Hudson.   You go back to your desk and search Google for plane on the Hudson — today — weeks after the event, Google is replete with results — but the DAY of the incident there was nothing on the topic to be found on Google.  Yet at the conversations are right there in front of you.    The same holds for any topical issues — lipstick on pig? — for real time questions, real time branding analysis, tracking a new product launch — on pretty much any subject if you want to know whats happening now, will come up with a superior result set.

How is real time search different?     History isnt that relevant — relevancy is driven mostly by time.    One of the Twitter search engineers said to me a few months ago that his CS professor wouldn’t technically regard Twitter Search as search.   The primary axis for relevancy is time — this is very different to traditional search.   Next, similar to video search — real time search melds search, navigation and browsing.       Way back in early Twitter land there was a feature called Track.  It let you monitor or track — the use of a word on Twitter.    As Twitter scaled up Track didn’t and the feature was shut off.   Then came Summize with the capability to refresh results — to essentially watch the evolution of a search query.      Today I use a product called Tweetdeck (note disclosure below) — it offers a simple UX where you can monitor multiple searches — real time — in unison.    This reformulation of search as navigation is, I think, a step into a very new and different future. has suddenly become the source for pages — not conversations, not the real time web.   What comes next?   I think context is the next hurdle.    Social context and page based context.    Gerry Campbell talks about the importance of what happens before the query in a far more articulate way than I can and in general Abdur, Greg, EJ, Gerry, Jeff Jonas and others have thought a lot more about this than I have.    But the question of how much you can squeeze out of a context less pixel and how context can to be wrapped around data seems to be the beginning of the next chapter.    People have been talking about this for years– its not that this is new — its just that the implementation of Twitter and the timing seems to be right — context in Twitter search is social.   74 years later the Notificator is finally reaching scale.

A side bar thought: I do wonder whether Twitter’s success is partially base on Google teaching us how to compose search strings?    Google has trained us how to search against its index by composing  concise, intent driven statements.   Twitter with its 140 character limit picked right up from the Google search string.    The question is different (what are you doing? vs. what are you looking for?)  but  the compression of meaning required by Twitter is I think a behavior that Google helped engender.     Maybe, Google taught us how to Twitter.

On the subject of inheritance.  I also believe Facebook had to come before Twitter.    Facebook is the first US based social network — to achieve scale, that is based on real identity.  Geocities, Tripod, Myspace — you have to dig back into history to bbs’s to find social platforms where people used their real names, but none of these got to scale.    The Twitter experience is grounded in identity – you knowing who it was who posted what.    Facebook laid the ground work for that.

What would Google do?

I love the fact that Twitter is letting its business plan emerge in a crowd sourced manner.   Search is clearly a very big piece of the puzzle — but what about the incumbents?   What would Google do, to quote Jarvis?   Let me play out some possible moves on the chess board.   As I see it Google faces a handful of challenges to launching a now web search offering.    First up — where do they launch it, or    Given that now web navigational experience is different to the answer would seem to be   Ok — so move number one — they need to launch a new search offering lets call it    Where does the data come from for    The majority of the public real time data stream exists within Twitter so any like product will affirm Twitter’s dominance in this category and the importance of the Twitter data stream.    Back when this started Summize was branded “Conversational Search” not Twitter Search.     Yet we did some analysis early on and concluded that the key stream of real time data was within Twitter.    Ten months later Twitter is still the dominant, open, now web data stream.   See the Google trend data below – Twitter is lapping its competition, even the sub category “Twitter Search” is trending way beyond the other services.   (Note: I am using Google trends here because I think they provide the best proxy for inbound attention to the real time microbloggging networks.   Its a measure of who is looking for these services.    It would be preferable to measure actual traffic measured but Comscore, Hitwise, Compete, Alexa etc. all fail to account for API traffic — let alone the cross posting of data (a significant portion of traffic to one service is actually cross postings from Twitter).   The data is messy here, and prone to misinterpretation, so much so that the images may seem blurry).   Also note the caveat re; open.   Since most of the other scaled now web streams of data are closed / and or not searchable (Facebook, email etc.).

gTrends data on twitter

Google is left with a set of conflicting choices.     And there is a huge business model question.     Does Ad Sense work well in the conversational sphere?   My experience turning Fotolog into a business suggests that it would work but not as well as it does on    The intent is different when someone posts on Twitter vs. searching on Google.   Yet, Twitter as a venture backed company has the resources to figure out exactly how to tune AdSense or any other advertising or payments platform to its stream of data.    Lastly, I would say that there is a human obstacle here.     As always the creative destruction is coming from the bottom up — its scrappy and and prone to been written off as NIH.     Twitter search today is crude — but so was once upon a not so long time ago.     Its hard to keep this perspective, especially given the pace that these platforms reach scale.     It would be fun to play out the chess moves in detail but I will leave that to another post.   I’m running out of steam here.

AOL has taken a long time to die.    I thought the membership (paid subscribers) and audience would fall off faster than it has.    These shifts happen really fast but business models and organizations are slow to adapt.  Maybe its time for the Notificator to go public and let people vote with their dollars.   Google has built an incredible franchise — and a business model with phenomenal scale and operating leverage.   Yet once again the internet is proving that cycles turn — the platform is ripe for innovation and just when you think you know what is going on you get blindsided by the Notificator.

Note:    Gerry Campbell wrote a piece yesterday about the evolution of search and ways to thread social inference into  search.    Very much worth a read — the chart below, from Gerry’s piece, is useful as a construct to outline the opportunity.


Disclosure.   I am CEO of betaworks.    betaworks is a Twitter shareholder.  We are also a Tweetdeck shareholder.  betaworks companies are listed on our web site.

  • Pingback: Ben Barren - Confessions of a Mad Man » The Notificator : it’s all realtime + video search()

  • andrewparker

    Great thoughts John; nice mental food to chew on.

    I think Twitter search today = WebCrawler of old… WebCrawler is the first search engine I ever remember using, and according to Wikipedia it's the first full-text search engine on the web. WebCrawler was very dumb. If you searched for meatloaf, it gave you the page with the most references to the word meatloaf… there was no recentness priority, there was no pagerank, there was no weighting on page titles or H1 tags. WebCrawler ended up getting VERY spammy as porn sites figured out they just needed to add giant blocks of popular keyword to their pages in order to game the system. It showed people that search could in theory be a great way to find what you want, but it was crippled as the popularity of the web increased.

    I think Twitter search today is equally dumb. When I search “plane Hudson” a few weeks back, I received only an ceaseless stream of RTs and links to CNN articles. No news that told me anything more than what I already knew: a plane was down in the Hudson. That's not to say that there weren't very important Tweets happening at that time. On the contrary, the TwitPic from the guy on the Ferry that approached the downed plane (you know which one I'm talking about because it was RT'ed 92498327492 times) was an epic piece of citizen journalism happening in real time. But, Twitter search didn't source that well… all it did was show me what the most recent RT was, not the most important original tweet.

    So, I agree that the “notificator” is important, but we are at the VERY BEGINNING (top of the first inning) of its development, particularly in search. And, I think Google sees this coming a mile away (as does Facebook), and both will innovate on this front. I wouldn't be surprised if Google released a real-time search engine comparable to Summize in the coming year, but with a different, more-useful algorithm than recentness. Perhaps Facebook too, though that would come with a lot of privacy baggage due to their permissioning system so it's unlikely.

    All that said, I have a lot of faith in Abdur. I think he's one of the smartest people I know, and he'll find a way to make Twitter search more useful. I hope it is his priority right now.

    PS: one small detail. Google didn't own YouTube in Nov 2005, so I assume you meant to say Nov 2006.

    • Johnborthwick

      Andrew. It is early days and its still crude, but I think a mix of the result set (sorted by time), the UX shift (wherein you follow search, not search and leave), and the implicit social map (courtesy of twitter + your brain) is a potent mix, and a step in a very new direction for search. Thanks for the Nov 05 catch — meant to be November 06

    • Alexis

      These new emerging trends and shifts in the market make us really wonder what is going to happen regarding the next big trend that will become the standard.

  • Ethan Bauley

    This was a great trip, thanks for writing. Curious if you've looked at Aardvark yet: (ex-Google team with a unique take on “social search”).

    • Johnborthwick

      I havent gotton into Vark — interested to see it

  • dblogged

    one of the best reads i've found on this subject. the uses i've found for manipulating the twitter stream are almost endless. i use it professionally to monitor my brand, my field, and the cloud's thoughts on subjects relevant to my expertise. i use it casually to follow topics and events. i think the search feeds are infinitely more useful than than just dropping in to search google style, and the more i use twitter the less useful i find google.

  • MikeDuda

    I am not intelligent or eloquent enough to comment on the Twitter/Google aspect, but the macro issue of creative destruction is absolutely on point. In fact, it will accelerate at a much more rapid pace, especially in the next 18-24 months. Too many talented people will be forced/unleashed to make careers in smaller/start-up entities. And working with a slew of Fortune 500 companies, it is painfully apparent that innovation nimbleness more resembles Gheroghe Muresan than Kobe Bryant. Companies across a span of sectors will suffer, especially those who lag operational speed (biggest obstacle to many now web solutions, imo)

    Wonderful piece and please write more often. I would even subscribe via TipJoy to read such content.

  • tweetip

    John, best post yet 🙂

    Andrew, we agree search is dumb. So is shipping newspapers around the World. So is flying business executives around the World for one day board meetings. We collectively do dumb things, none of which scale well. Collectively, all of us are watching ice cubes melt as we think about centralized scale within the clouds while an insignificant few of us simply say; we have the tech we need now. It just isn't shiny.

    Abdur's team may very well figure out how to scale, and extrapolate epic meaning instantly. That's certainly epic responsibility on one small team of engineers. It's also putting epic trust in the infrastructure of the cloud. Time will tell as Twitter may very well be 100MM+ users soon-er. Reminder: within the user base, realtime Epic Events may be a higher number than any of us can imagine.

    John is right about “follow search”. This term, for now, is the closest yet for describing our personal realtime view of Epic Events. Participatory feeling is vastly different than search. We continue to believe an epic leap in evolution is here. Now. We suggest a collective need to scale this new way of thinking as fast as possible. Urgency, not panic 🙂 {our near realtime view of the Hudson Event: using our evolving, but dull, twitter client }

  • tweetip

    While listening to a live audio stream from #TED yesterday, I heard something forcing me to stop coding, and to rewind and read the tweet. I then drilled down to the blog and found this similar theme, helping to understand re-tweets/re-blogs 🙂

    “Or maybe we could even call it information hysteria: an overwhelming compulsion to consume and be consumed by limitless amounts of information, content, data and choice…the uncontrollable desire to document and broadcast in real-time. Limitless information, access, and choice. Always on, always available—the need to be recognized on the live network as we scan for the best opportunities in any given moment.”

    • Johnborthwick

      M / Its fascinating how obsessive I can get about gathering (hoarding is a better word) digital media all within the cloud. I think the compulsion is partially a fear of loss. I have a friend who compares Google search to Dory in finding Nemo — the fish who doesnt has a family or friends because she has no long term memory

    • eggtea

      I've been re-blogging for a while. I think it's a good way to simply track what your reading. Sweet if someone else reads it, but it's nice to just have a blog of your inspirations, ideas, research etc…

      Google has a goal of singularity, so it's really going to come down to how we as developers & designers deal with the directions that the web will bring. Especially when different markets begin to primarily use different versions of the web for different purposes. In the next few years the web will be even more intertwined & even more virtual.

      The web is a collective mind that we as a human race are designing, but we still don't have much of a main goal or global desire for our expanding global brain.
      Just think if we we could shift our taxes as a nation, if we used an online community to bring order to our society. Would it be enough to make america more of a prepared nation, rather then reactionary?

  • jonathanhstrauss

    Great post! And thanks for all the fantastic links (Jeff Jonas, where have you been all my life?! 😉 ). I agree completely that the Now Web represents a fundamental shift in network dynamics from the (relatively) static page-based web, and that opens an opportunity to replace the legacy infrastructure that is incapable of extracting the full value from the Now Web.

    And while I also agree that the public Twitter stream is an effective proxy for the public Now Web, I wonder about the vast majority of share/communications-based content being created in the Deep Now Web (i.e. behind the walled gardens of Facebook or email providers). I think the most valuable Now Web content is definitely being produced out in the open (and that privacy wall acts as something of a self-selection mechanism that raises the average quality of the public content), but it's important to keep in mind that it represents a miniscule percentage of the overall content and traffic being generated by the Now Web as a whole.

    • Johnborthwick

      Love the term deep now web — thank you, may use it and attribute

    • Christopher Golda

      Pressures to open will eventually transform “Deep Now Web” (or more accurately, the private Now Web) data into easily accessible Now Web data. The current level of open Now Web data still presents a huge opportunity imho. Twitter is a convenient example because of its scale, openness and simplicity, but there's a lot more open Now Web data out there.


  • Pingback: Search is broken – really broken. | - Gerry Campbell()

  • IDisposable

    To characterize summize's twitter search as crude is wrong. It's got most of the meta-data driven search parameters you might want, and it miles ahead of Google's early days.

  • martinlock

    World famous publications like the Forbes, and the Wall Street journal are writing on Alexa which only goes on to prove its credibility and popularity.

  • saieva

    I find the required brevity of Twitter messages is having unanticipated positive consequences not only in my writing but also in my thinking. With the experience and influence of concise communication on Twitter, at some point I began to visualize passing thoughts and ideas in words that happened to be in the format of tweets (ie, short and meaningful statements of very carefully selected words). Twitter makes you want to share those ideas since it's easy enough to do and you have a forum of people who are interested (ie, your Followers). Where in the past I may have made a mental note of an idea, with Twitter I am expressing those passing thoughts and Twitter is simultaneously a ticker tape and an archive. I personally don't connect with the concept that structuring search terms in Google has influenced my Twitter communications. For me, I think the Twitter experience, and the quality of my written expressions that has developed over time, is unique.


    Salvatore Saieva

    • Johnborthwick

      Sal / Interesting points — thank you. I like the way you describe your Twitter composition process. As Dave Winer says there is a zen like process to Twitter. The Google point isnt about literal composition. Structuring a search string is a different form and intent to a Tweet — point was simply that I wonder if Google introduced us to the idea that we hit a small box on the screen and need to compose a concise string — that habit served as a foundation from which Twitter and other habits have / are emerging

  • Pingback: Virtuous cycle » Search getting fragmented, verticals most likely to fall to… Google()

  • marykathleenflynn

    Hi John,

    Great analysis of video search and real-time search in the Now Web. It will be fascinating indeed to see what Google does — and of course what Twitter does now that it has Summize! — with search.

    I'm sure you have no dearth of topic ideas…..but I want to suggest one for you anyway. I'd love to get your thoughts on why the Now Web in general and Twitter in particular is such a great medium for community building.

    Someone I interviewed the other day described Twitter as being good at “lead gen” — it might have been Jesse Engle from Co-tweet, not sure, but anyway, I thought, “That's it. Lead gen is exactly one of the ways I use Twitter.” As a journalist, for me it generates leads for stories and sources — which is really all about becoming immersed in a community.

    I liken my hanging out with folks with Andy Weissman and you on Twitter as akin to Roslaind Russell's character in His Girl Friday, where she plays a city reporter who's always hanging out at the courthouse above the jail to be near her sources.

    I think the immediacy — the Now Web aspect — is a huge part of why Twitter is good at communities in a way I find superior to Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

    I bet you could do a great job of articulating why.

    All the best, Mary Kathleen Flynn, Senior Editor/Senior Video Producer, The Deal

  • dannykhatib

    interesting read. re twitter search, reminds me of how blog search was regarded in its early days. i wonder what might be the iPod-like gestalt required for twitter to overcome the limitations of Technorati and others. i.e. does further compressing messages in space and time ultimately provide a unique arsenal and perspective, or is the bet more about twitter pulling all the pieces together into a nice package that finally just works.

  • kobinata

    Side question on “Google slayers”
    Any input on why everybody has a gmail address, but nobody messages on Gtalk or Jaiku and nobody outside Brazil has a profile on Orkut, etc?
    Thank you

  • Pingback: Finance Geek » Google Next Victim Of Creative Destruction? (GOOG)()

  • hymanroth

    John, many thanks for such a highly-structured and well-argued post.

    That said, I have to disagree.

    Not so much with the conclusions, but with their import. Perhaps I'm getting old (40) but the current obsession with NOW seems, in my view, to be overdone. I see this with the professional blogs, too: Techcrunch, demanding exclusives in order to be absolutely sure it's breaking the news first. Who cares who got there first? It's not a race. I'll take solid analysis over a scribbled headline any day of the week.

    And the same goes for 'news' on Twitter. Hearing a bang and knowing what caused it are two different things. Perhaps it's just me. In the same way that I don't really care if my hat's out of fashion, I'm not worried if my web conversations aren't pushing the real-time envelope. If something important happens, I'll find out about it, sooner or later. And when I do, I'll more likely use Wikipedia than Google to provide my background context.

    Horses for courses, then. You're not wrong – I would just say your conclusions don't apply to everyone.

    • jratrw

      I see the difference between and what could be, but I just don't find them mutually exclusive. Once something ages past the context of NOW, it finds another context where more traditional search would apply – and be more appropriate.

      • jobseekerss

        Google is best search engine and as Google never will come again another engine. i appreciated with google

    • markslater

      i'm with you Hyman. i just don't get the importance of the now effect. Is it really honestly that big a deal if i find out about a plane crash in the first minute or the 10th? this whole notion of 'i got there first' is like a grand techie payback for being bullied on the playground. There is clearly some type of value in the social aspects of twitter – but this is noise. Trying to tell me that there is value in the immediacy of a signal (a breaking news event) and that the resulting search implications can be traded is like saying that there is technology in twitter that is not easily replicable.

  • lollipierre

    At lollicode (the startup behind, we share this view 100% – twitter is disrupting the web as much as google did 10y+ ago, because they introduced a new paradigm (the real-time web concept) which was missing until a few months ago.
    Google were quick and agile enough to jump on the static (web pages) and semi-live (blogging) bandwagons, but they clearly missed the real-time (micro blogging) aspect (not to mention social media).
    There is no doubt for us that twitter (via search) is the “next google”, but for this to happen they need to come up with what made google so successful: the real-time equivalent of adsense in terms of monetization. But it may well have nothing to do with tradionnal online advertising… Our view is that “conversations” are a great way to identify target segments (in terms of adverstising), bringing additionnal value to the industry, as much as Google did in the past with CPC & contextual advertising.

  • Pingback: Why Google Won’t Be A Victim Of Twitter & Why John’s Theory May Be Flawed | Betterlabs - Product Incubation Blog.()

  • vividea

    Sorry off topic; Mr Borthwick kindly wanted to ask for e-mail contact with regards to sending a business proposal that I strongly believe you may find of interest. Thanks.

    • lollipierre

      Not sure the above comment is intended to us / isn't a joke, but just in case we can be contacted at feedback [at] twitscoop [dot] com

  • Pingback: Google monoculture, Google creative destruction: two recent reads « Picketwire()

  • Pingback: When Does Communication Become Information? « Craig Forman’s Blog()

  • InternetStrategist

    When Social Media finally “gets it” – recognizes that they can use data mining to repackage all those Twitters and the information Shared into easy to access topical niches and then sells advertising related to those niches – then and only then will there be a true Google-slayer. I've been trying to get the attention of both FriendFeed and Twitter or any other venture that understands. What Internet users and businesses truly need is a way to find what they want and reach those who wish to find it! Search on monetization at to see what I mean. I would love to have your input on the idea.

    Google sends such an enormous percentage of traffic to many small businesses that Google could intentionally or accidentally put them out of business by cutting off their flow of buyers. Most online sellers have far too many eggs in Google's basket and for many there is not a lot they can do about it – yet.

  • RacerRick

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    Google's blog search does a decent job of real time search. No reason why Google can't combine blogs, twitter, friendfeed, Facebook status (probably not), etc and even combine it with Flickr photos and video search. There is great potential for Google.

    But what the heck has taken them so long? (I think you're right, they've really been caught off guard.) Their vaunted algorithms don't help much here.

    Side note… One thing that screws Adwords-on-real-time-search is that you won't need to pay to be inserted into the conversation, just punctual.

  • ashafrir

    excellent post. The recipe for sourcing innovation and disruption within an organization that has a achieved a certain size and success, is yet to be discovered

  • Pingback: Mining The Thought Stream()

  • frontierblog

    I cannot agree more, actually I wrote a similar post weeks ago


    Frontier Blog – No one ahead, no one behind

  • Pingback: Web 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0… and counting. The Real Time Web « the clever and the not so clever()

  • Pingback: Twitter and Google Search. Because you can't reply to a search engine result. | re > engineering antonio()

  • adebuche

    Hi, great post, tx.
    A few comments :
    – the leader is often not the real disruptor … but someone quick enough to copy and add a twist to it (think Apple and Xerox, …), like … a revenue model ?
    – I can not but come back to propagation, we got good research done on blogging, and good analysis/visual tools too (think Manuel Lima's blogviz, RTGI's Linkfluence, …). FriendFeed already tries to do some of that … picking up from my Twitter account the url I tweeted and adding it in some kind of comment link below my FF post (corresponding entry). Should be possible to map url propagation in real time better than keywords (if you get around tinyurl code), so as to identify key memes by community or location
    – context : you briefly went over it, I sense location sharing services like brightkite (see Chris' profile will be a great part of the answer. You can filter by content, or better, by social link (trust), but context is a place/time thing, especially for real-time, real-life stuff

    Tx again for sharing your thoughts and insights,


  • Pingback: Twitter is Twitter–neither Google nor Facebook « Caught in the Web()

  • Pingback: Media history…in the making()

  • eslobrown

    Twitter is going to monetize search the same way Google monetized search. They are going to charge advertisers to send little DM's to people who mention things related to their line of business. For example, I'm a furniture vendor, if someone says they need to buy furniture, I want to advertise to that person. Arguably, that person is further along in the conversion cycle than someone performing a search for “furniture” on Google. For more on “Twitter Paid Search,” see my blog entry:….

  • frontierblog

    I cannot agree more, actually I wrote a similar post weeks ago


    Frontier Blog – No one ahead, no one behind

  • williyamb

    Ecommerce Web Design Today I use a product called Tweetdeck (note disclosure below) — it offers a simple UX where you can monitor multiple searches — real time — in unison. This reformulation of search as navigation is, I think, a step into a very new and different future. has suddenly become the source for pages — not conversations, not the real time web.

  • williyamb

    Ecommerce Web Design Twitter as a venture backed company has the resources to figure out exactly how to tune AdSense or any other advertising or payments platform to its stream of data. Lastly, I would say that there is a human obstacle here. As always the creative destruction is coming from the bottom up — its scrappy and and prone to been written off as NIH. Twitter search today is crude — but so was once upon a not so long time ago. Its hard to keep this perspective, especially given the pace that these platforms reach scale. It would be fun to play out the chess moves in detail but I will leave that to another post. I’m running out of steam here.

  • Pingback: THINK / Musings» Blog Archive()

  • Pingback: Comment & Analysis - Madano Partnership, London()

  • Pingback: The Rise Of Social Distribution Networks « Reading()

  • China Tour

    Great post, what you said is really helpful to me. I can't agree with you anymore. I have been talking with my friend about, he though it is really interesting as well. Keep up with your good work, I would come back to you.

  • hankjmatt

    i use it professionally to monitor my brand, my field, and the cloud's thoughts on subjects relevant to my expertise. i use it casually to follow topics and events. i think the search feeds are infinitely more useful than than just dropping in to search google style, and the more i use twitter the less useful i find google.
    club penguin cheats

  • yanyou

    John: Excellent point. But the problem is all social web 2.0 sites charge advertisers. Companies hope to capture the revenue by people buying. So far, Twitter 45 million users, Google 3 billion ?? Facebook 250 million, MySpace 200 million….. You need to change the business model, start charging the users, not the advertisers. What is the killer product that the billions of people (teenagers especially) that will pay for them?

    AOL charged $22 per month, Netscape charged $40 for the original installations. You were there and you know that. Microsoft gave Internet Explorer away, then put Netscape out of business. You are one of the smartest tech guy in the universe. Simple question, how does Twitter make money from the users?

  • no deposit bingo

    well all i can say is that you really had a great post about google..thanks for your article.

  • Twin Air Mattress

    Google will survive one way or the other, Caffeine is right around the corner, how good it is remains to be seen.

  • cabadie

    Great vision on this article writen back in Feb. It's the search, stupid!

  • Dimplej57

    Google is the best. There is no doubt about this.

  • sumitg

    This article indicates the goodness of google. I am a regular user of google & is totally satisfied.

  • Meerag

    I am a daily user of google. I search each & every thing on it. It gives wonderful results. I guess its the best search engine.

  • KidsGames

    Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Twitter has taken this idea and run with it. True people may be able to get their information faster this way, but they'll likely double check a legitimate source for verification later. KidsGames