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April 30, 2008

Twitter Means Conversational Search is the Next Big Thing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have noticed that Twitter has been the rising social media star of 2008. Twitter is basically community micro-blogging, or group chat, similar to the old IRC communities that were around in the 1990s, but more interactive. Twitter even has it’s own lingo such as tweet, retweet, tweeple, twits and twitterati.

The sheer influence of Twitter in such a short space of time has impacted the very nature of social media. There are reports that people are spending more time twittering than writing blog posts or posting to forums. What is it about Twitter? Is it the instantaneous conversation? The voyeur factor? Or the undeniable human instinct to follow the crowd?

Whatever it is, Twitter’s got it. So much so that new search engines have sprung up to enable people to search Twitter conversations that they might have missed. Two of these are Summize and Twistori. The first enables you to search Twitter conversations via keyword, phrase or Twit. The second and most fascinating one is a voyeuristic slide show of conversations in real time, based around six emotions: Love Hate Wish Think Believe Feel and Wish. From the imagination of one of my favorite Webstock speakers, Amy Hoy, together with Thomas Fuchs, Twistori has already gained attention and praise from Twitter founders.

So now there’s no excuse for missing the conversation.