Well I made it back from 140 – The Twitter Conference LA. I have to say Twitter never ceases to amaze me. The focus of this conference was on “Tapping Into the Real Time Web” – #140tc for those of you who are already using Twitter.
The Real Time Web is getting a lot of attention these days as businesses and individuals struggle to be found on the web. So what is the “Real Time Web” all about, and why should you care?
Search Engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing) place a lot of emphasis on relevance, and relevance takes time to validate traffic, quality and history. When a search engine indexes a site on the web for search results, it can typically take several months for the site to rank well.
Enter Social Media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. These sites are delivering information real time. Facebook with its 250 plus million users worldwide who are spending on average over 5 hours per month on Facebook, and Twitter has rapid growth in users of over 1800% last year, have already solved the issue of a lack of traffic.
Twitter provides real time information in a couple of important ways. First the tweets themselves, as things are happening. A playlist at a concert as it is happening, an announcement of where to find a mobile restaurant, comments, pictures or videos of an event – these are just some of the ways Twitter can provide information real time. Biz Stone talked about some examples of this – when an earthquake happened there were over 3600 tweets about it before the news feeds reported it nine minutes later, tweeting during political events such as what happened in Iran earlier this year. Try finding this info on a search engine.
Twitter allows 140 characters at a time, so how can anyone communicate anything of substance with that kind of limit? Passed links is the key. A Passed link is a link to a website that is embedded in the 140 character tweet. Utilities to shorten the url are key, such as bit.ly or tiny.url. This could be a link to an interesting article that the Tweeter wants to share that may have thousands of words or it could be to a page on a website. The possibilities are endless.
There is an entire ecosystem of sites and services that have built up around Twitter to deliver the real time web. Twitter has become a great way to drive traffic and find information – real time. I’m in, are you?
Mr. Tucker is a small business owner of Changescape Web in St. Charles, MO. He is a small business consultant and an internet presence management consultant. Mr. Tucker currently serves as Co-Chair of the St. Charles County Chambers of Commerce Technology Committee and is also the Chair of the St. Charles Chamber Health and Environment Committee. You can follow him on Twitter.com/Changescape.
This first appeared in print in Community News (www.mycnews.com), September 20, 2009, Page 3, Vol. 88 No. 39.