Can Twitter ever be better than Google? Well perhaps in the future we might get a definitive answer to that question; however I thought I’d write about a recent situation where I found that Twitter gave me a better result when looking for an answer than the mighty Google did! Especially given I was originally I was anything but an advocate of Twitter, in fact a couple of years ago when I started this blog I was a big skeptic and did question of what is the point of Twitter?
First of all, I’m not comparing Twitter’s in-built searching capability of tweets with that of Google’s searching of webpages – I’m sure Google is still the finest indexer of information out there and if there is an answer to what you’re looking for, I believe it can get you to it more efficiently than other search engines, be it Yahoo, MSN/Live, Ask Jeeves or the recently released Wolfram Alpha.
What I thought was more interesting was in using the core-functionality of the two respective systems to find out a piece of information which I had no idea as to the answer of — “where to buy us wired magazine in uk”. Why did I want to do this you might ask? Well JJ Abrams was the guest-editor of the latest issue of the US edition of Wired magazine and as such if you’re a fan of any of his work you’d be interested in this special “mystery issue” — you can read more about JJ Abrams and his Mystery Box on SimonBarker.com.
Anyway, so I did the usual thing of searching Google for “where to buy us wired magazine in uk”…and found no search results relating to this, however if you take a look at the more recent screenshot below…
…you can see that Mahalo Answers has picked up this question I asked on Twitter and Google has now indexed this and places it at the of the results — unfortunately there is still no answer to this question even now — so I’ll have to go and do that once I’ve finished writing this because I did eventually find the answer!
Google had failed me on this occasion (and two days later it still hasn’t given the answer), so I thought I’d ask the same question on Twitter and hope that one of my followers (out of around 450) would know the answer and be able to tell me.
Within an hour three different people had each told me that I should be able to buy the US edition of Wired magazine in UK from one of the Borders book stores and I even had a backup suggestion of trying one of the larger WHSmith stores. Thanks very much to each of you for coming back with an answer so quickly, I’d definitely recommend you consider following these guys on Twitter – @keanrichmond, @jamesholland, and @milo2020.
This is not the first time that I’ve got useful answers from the great people who follow me on Twitter, however on this occasion it really hit home how useful and fast Twitter can be for obtaining information and answers to your questions that not even Google can provide — although their base of knowledge is only as great as what has been already published on the Internet, the answers from using Twitter actually come from other people!
If you’ve not tried Twitter as yet, give it a go, you never know quite how useful it might be for you, plus it’s a really fun way of communicating with your friends — if you do try it or are already on Twitter, you can follow @zathuk to receive updates of what’s happening here on Zath and @simonbarker to keep track of what I’m up to myself.
What do you think to Twitter? Are you using it yet? Do you find it useful and if so, how? What do you think the future holds for Twitter?
Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!