ifindkarma. elegance is refusal.

August 10, 2009

Why is searching Twitter so hard?

Filed under: facebook!, twitter! — Tags: — ifindkarma @ 4:20 pm

Chris asked me,

Didn’t you tweet something about social networks and lobster traps not that long ago? (analogy or post, etc)

To which I replied,

Isn’t it crazy how hard it is to find a tweet from last month? If you google or bing “ifindkarma lobster trap” you’ll find a RT.

Which begs the question, why is searching Twitter so hard for finding the original tweet? All the search engines find ReTweets from other people.

Why can I not search Twitter and find the tweet?

Why can I not search Google and find the tweet?

Bing or Facebook (which itself is powered by Bing)? I don’t think so.

The original tweet was on July 3rd:

“Facebook is basically designed like a lobster trap with your friends as bait.” http://bit.ly/oR2o2

And apparently over time it will be come increasingly hard to find until eventually it disappears, because eventually all tweets disappear:

3200 tweets ought to be enough for anyone. #famouslastwords http://bit.ly/3B5ntp

I don’t like that Twitter search maxes out at a week.

I don’t like that the length of time tweets stay in Twitter search keeps getting shorter.

I don’t like that Twitter search is only concerned with what happened recently, and not what’s most relevant, or most comprehensive, or what best uses my social graph.

So even though I’m predicting that Twitter will be the world’s second biggest search engine within five years, they have a long way to go to be a comprehensive, relevant, social-graph-based search engine.


“Someone will probably come around with a microblogging service that syndicates better & searches better than Twitter.” http://bit.ly/8AXYd

Wal-Mart of the Internet or World’s Second Biggest Search Engine? Maybe both. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I’d better backup my tweets


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