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Missing the Boat on Real-Time — It’s About Social Discovery

Everyone seems to recently have found religion on real-time search — which is great.   With this acceptance, however, many people are missing the big opportunity for Twitter and Facebook to revolutionize the way people discover information.

Internet search is in the mature phase of the innovation timeline.  While we occasionally see cool new advancements, it is pretty incremental stuff.  Many of the new features in Bing, we saw in Ask two years ago or at Excite nine years ago.

I’d put real-time search in the incremental bucket.  Twitter and Facebook are certainly enabling the development of real-time search, but I believe they are doing two other things which will revolutionize discovery: sharing & asking.

People are increasingly discovering things through sharing – a blog post to read, a restaurant to visit, a great movie to see.  In fact, Michael noted this trend on Tech Crunch earlier this week both here and here.  People are increasingly discovering TechCrunch articles because they are being shared by friends on Twitter and Facebook.

I believe people will increasingly discover content by asking.  If I’m looking to buy a new convertible, I may search for “best convertibles” on Google or Bing.  I’d probably get better results, however, by asking my friends on Twitter and Facebook “which convertible should I buy.”   Indeed, I’d probably do both — search publicly available content and solicit trusted opinion and advice.   While Twitter and  Facebook aren’t ideally set up to facilitate asking right now, it seems like a natural course of evolution.

Fun, disruptive times again in the world of search & discovery.  Needless to say, we’re focused on applying sharing & asking to classifieds.  More on this in subsequent blog posts this summer.

2 Responses to “Missing the Boat on Real-Time — It’s About Social Discovery”

  1. June 19th, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Joackim Penti says:

    Classifieds is now all about “social discovery” and conversation.

    Thanks for coining that first term!

  2. June 23rd, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Oodle Blog » Blog Archive » Twitter Ready for More Asking says:

    [...] is evolving its offering around social discovery, more specifically asking (asking should be linked to my previous blog post):  Twitter Plans to Offer Shopping Advice & [...]

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