There has been a lot of buzz around the real time web lately. And the main responsible for that buzz has been, without a doubt, twitter. Some have gone to the extent of saying that Google is afraid of twitter.
Well, hum, I don’t think so, clearly the mountain-view gang is worried about other stuff, not twitter. Twitter does not overlap with what google does. Yet it does open the door to something somewhat novel.
One of the main differences of twitter with “chat” as we knew it is that the content is stored, indexed, and publicly available in the form of webpages. IRC, for instance (or Messenger, or Yahoo! IM) uses its own protocol to transfer, store and access information which, in most cases is not publicly available either.
The so-called “real time web” then is actually “almost real time web”. This makes a small difference to the human interactions (things happen as fast as we can assimilate them) but has huge implications from a technological and indexing point of view.
This is where google comes into play, why they shouldn’t worry and why this rumor about big G’s plans to launch microblogging search makes perfect sense.
Let me explain.
Twitter is endogamy. It is a self-contained universe. Fair enough, its API allows all sorts of interactions with the outside world and extensibility through other services and programs, but it all orbits around the same. Google, on the other hand has always been an outside-looking company and set of services.
Google’s basic premise is to crawl what others generate in order to allow people to find that content. That premise does not have to change with the so-called real-time web. That is what makes companies such as google so interesting, the fundamentals are so simple that they can adapt to changes without having to change them. As a matter of fact what google needs is other real time content-generation sites and services to proliferate.
How so? since most people use Twitter it makes perfect sense to use Twitter’s native search when looking for the latest. But what would happen if there were another big player in the scene? You’d end up using a search engine that indexes them both. That is if such two things existed. It does not make sense for google to buy Twitter, but it makes perfect sense for google to foster and help new players to enter that market.
A lot has been said about how important(sic) Twitter is in news-spreading. I remain skeptic.
I plan to blog about the Iran-Twitter affair soon (and I know most people won’t like that post), but a quick lesson learnt from the entire thing is that Twitter is neither a good nor reliable news source. It is a good alert system, granted, but if you need in-depth information, background or analysis you better seek some place else.
In what seems to be the trend with every new wave of web technologies (scrape the term technologies, this is not technology, call it “usage”) the signal to noise radio decreases. If you watch the entire river of tweets you’ll only spot a very tiny percentage that are meaningful in any way. Yet, I think enough has been said about the amount of rubbish going on in twitter all of the time.
Bottom line is: Would I buy Twitter stock? Probably not for the long run. Do I think Real time web is here to stay? yes it is, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.
What is the difference between the online presence of traditional media and the new heavily popular blog driven sites such as techcrunch?
Do forums serve a purpose for support organizations within companies? Marketing? Public Relations?
Who should fund this things inside a corporation? who should be the stakeholders? Who is accountable for success or failure?
This and other similar questions pop-up like fungi on a hot wet day when working on Social Media Marketing.
The landscape of media and online marketing is rapidly changing. Most of the time changes happen just quickly enough so that people involved in them directly tend to have a feeling of being just one step behind what is happening. Traditional organizations, thinking and decision-making won't do it anymore.
I intend to write up a series of posts looking at things that I consider are changing, at differences that are becoming more pronnounced and percieved differences that aren't so.
After several years of investigation and tests I have finally reached what can be called a moment of enlightenment.
A bit of background.
In case you never heard about chaos theory (which means you have either been living in a cave or taken the "God does not play dice with the universe" statement a little bit two seriously), it is a field of math that tries to determine the behavior of certain dynamic systems under the premise that very slight changes on initial variables can yield enormously different final results.
Marketing scenarios are what you could call "dynamic systems". You have people spending money to influence other people in the hope that they'll end up doing about the same thing: spend money.
With that in mind I devoted every second of my spare time to find the ultimate marketing solution. The premise was: if a small change on initial variables can have a huge impact on the outcome of the system after an n number of iterations, then maybe a tiny marketing startup can make a company the hottest thing since the invention of sliced bread.
I was under the impression that some companies had already discovered this, since there is no way that perfectly normal products with nice packaging could have so much success without the aid of advanced maths. Either that or we are plainly stupid.
Since the investigation on the human race being rather short sighted was going to be too short, I decided it must of be maths.
It was just with the intuition that the theory could be correct that I embarked the task of figuring out all the different variables that could affect a perfect marketing campaign.
Drawing the complete picture of infinite different scenarios and evolution of the dynamic systems was a titanic endeavor. The old chaos theory cliché of the butterfly does apply; that is the reason why there could be absolutely no loose ends.
I have tried to abbreviate the complex maths and equations so that they make some sense. The following picture is a screenshot of an excel spreadsheet. Don't feel ashamed if you don't quite get the meaning of all the mathematical mambo-jumbo, since it is pretty advanced.
As you can see once you study hard and get all the pieces in the right places, it is a fool proof method for success.
The greatest thing (for you) is that my findings are for sale. For just a couple million dollars I'll send you the whole thing.
Oh... there is just a minor caveat. It'll take 527 years, 2 months, 9 days, 5 hours and 23 seconds (approximately) for the campaign to be successful. But, hey, you'll only spend a Dollar (in advertising) and a couple millions (paying me) to get it up and running.