Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Series- Real-Time Search

There has been a lot of talk about Twitter in the media lately. With the recent elections in Iran and the developing unrest, Twitter is all a-buzz with news coming out of the country. Before now we might not have know about the events taking place there because the country is closed to most outside media and the all Internet connections have been shut-down. But then there is Twitter. Users have the ability to send messages via SMS text. These messages are then tweeted and retweeted 1000's of times to get the message out. There are now hashtags that users can post to and follow in order to get the message out faster. Just look at this Twitter Search for #iranelection. You can see amazing tweets like:

Rusalka25 Mohammad Asgari,who leaked the real election results from the Interior Ministry, was killed in a suspicious car accident.- #iranelection

Kian83 Tehran march TODAY 5pm - 7Tir Sq - Meydan 7 Tir - silent - sea of green - #Iranelection

And these are just a sample of what is there. To me what is even more amazing are the real-time results. Just as I was doing the search for the hashtag the page says to me that there were 104 more results since I first conducted my search, in less than 30 seconds!

No one can compete with this. Twitter has developed a way to search all of the 1000's of Tweets per second for key terms. Then has the ability to update search pages simultaneously. Think of the implications. Web pages (as long as they are updated) are no longer static in terms of search. Students can follow events as they unfold, in real-time. The future of learning is now.

Twitter's search as got a lot of the big boys scared. In a recent article on TechCrunch, Facebook is about to unveil a way for users to post their updates to all users (not just your friends) so that it becomes part of the Facebook Public Domain. Their goal, a real-time search, just like Twitter.

Real-Time search has even the Google Giant scared. At a recent search conference
Sergey Brin (one of Google's Founders) said that they understand that real-time search is the future and they have to change but it is a challenge. Rumor has it that they are so scared they have assembled a team of engineers, lead by the other Founder, Larry Page to discuss techniques and models that Google can adopt to compete and stay ahead.

Real-Time Search is the future, once really smart people figure out how to make it work right. In the mean time investigate it. Go over to Twitter and do some searches for items in the news. But remember, just because you see it on the web, doesn't make it true. Do your research before you accept what you read as fact.

By The Way....I left my #iranelection search page up while I wrote this post (approx 15 minutes) and there were over 1638 updated tweets...simply amazing...)

UPDATE- Earlier today news broke that the the situation in Iran is so serious that the State Department is urging Twitter and the hosting company to delay a scheduled down-time for a 3 time...Read More Here....


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