Having been in mobile search for a long time, I fail to get excited and miss a heartbeat when the term mobile search is touted. Mobile search has vast potential but we are not there yet. No. Let me start again.
Incumbent based mobile search platforms for operators are there. But effective new start-up search engines including visual search services have failed to captivate the market –because it is just too early.
Mobile search is a beast. Taming that beast is not necessary but feeding it with relevant, dedicated vital information will never be easy.
For example, yesterday I found out about the demise of RCR Wireless News via Twitter. I was simply on Twitter at the right time and the right place to grasp that information and lead with it.
Now, if I had been an RSS subscriber of RCR Wireless I might have found out earlier. But I wasn’t and I didn’t. I did a search then on Google News and the story from RCR was there.
What does this mean?
The news seems to have been scooped at about the same time. The time that RCR News was indexed on Google News and the time a RSS reader or follower of RCR Wireless News cut and paste the URL and published it on Twitter.
In this instance – Twitter wins with its power of now search. The story was of interest to me and commented back on Twitter about it. But if I wasn’t on Twitter at that time in that moment – would I have known or would I have cared?
Say, I sleep 8 hours and I look back at my past six Twitter pages. With over 500 followers the news would have been lost. Would I have ever done a Google search on news sites or have found out about this?
To be honest I don’t know.
8 hours on this morning I searched Google News for “news” but there was nothing there on RCR Wireless. So because I was awake and online and the right time I have a piece of knowledge that I might not have had.
What am I trying to say?
The power of now is great –but is it enough to be thrown bits of information to digest quickly – comment on in seconds and move on. The social hungry will be satisfied but in all honesty – I am not sure if the information is always relevant or essential or something that I would have needed or wanted to consume – if someone else hadn’t commented, “really bad print media situation RIP RCR Wireless”.
Was I effected by the passion of someone else? Did it make it more moving or relevant to me? I instantly reacted but if I had missed it or found out a few days later from an impartial news source – would it have triggered the same emotion?
The trouble is with “now” search you consume and move on.
With online or mobile search you have a need and want an answer. Twitter will provide personal ideas or information about this agenda (if the Twitter search works) but will it do any more than that?
Search is about acquiring the knowledge or information that you need to help you specifically. It is not about snapping bits of information but leveraging knowledge. Twitter will give you snacks of knowledge to pass on, re-use, administer but only a search that is effective will help you buy the content, write the recipe or essay that you are writing.
So in reality the power of now search via Twitter and Google search are two separate entities.
Can they be combined? Probably?
Google had killed its Google Alerts service by adding that many blogs to it and making all Blogger accounts instantly available on Google Alerts that the service has gone from magnificent to terrible. Too many cooks spoil the broth and too much information blurs education and the value of information.
The essence of search is to find. The essence of Twitter is to satisfy social knowledge.