Twitter Week: Searching Twitter for Fun and Profit

A couple of weeks ago Gary Vaynerchuk posted a video where he brazenly called Twitter’s search ability the most important site on the Internet.

If you haven’t used Twitter’s search tool, you should start doing it now. You can also set up searches in most of the Twitter clients like TweetDeck, Nambu, Seesmic and more.

Is Twitter’s search the most important site on the planet? For fun, I’m going to agree and say yes, it is. Here’s why.

Twitter search does something that not even the mighty Google can do – giving you results that are happening right that instant. Sure, Google indexes quickly, but Twitter gives you results up to the second – and even tells you there are more results that have come in since your initial search, which means even more people are talking about a topic.

To stick with my hockey example from earlier in the week, a few weeks ago Fox Sports Pittsburgh went out on my cable system during a playoff hockey game. My first thought was that our cable company has an outage. I turned to Twitter’s search and typed in FSN.

I quickly found a few people in my area that were having an outage, and after a few minutes, tweets began pouring in from all over the east coast, saying that FSN was out for them as well. After, seriously, 5 minutes, this tweet appeared, saying the source of the problem was a lightning strike.

In the old days (pre-Twitter), if FSN went down, I’d maybe call the cable company and I could guarantee the CSR would have no idea there was even a game on let alone it was out. Now, in five minutes, I had an exact answer, even a link to someone streaming the game on uStream.

Searching Twitter gives you up-to-the-second news, trends and allows you to tap into the world-wide zeitgeist like no other technology before has.

So what can Twitter do for you? It can easily tell you what people are saying about your institution. If you haven’t yet setup a search in a client or grabbed an RSS feed from Twitter’s search results pages, stop reading this and go and do it now.

It allows you to keep up on happenings and trends, and if appropriate, respond quickly and effectively.

Do you think it’s the most important site on the internet?