It sounds a bit funny to discuss Twitter as the hive mind when so few are tapping into the potential of communal thought, but I wager this audience is pushing their use of technology more than the average early adopter. I’m also assuming in this post that you’ve recognized the potential that we have to connect, create, store, and retrieve data using Twitter’s search function. If you haven’t, you may want to read my post here on Twitip about searching Twitter – it’s a good introduction. There are lots of awesome ways you can search through the conversation on Twitter. You can find people that are tweeting from certain locations, about certain subjects, or at certain times. However, this ability is being threatened. I’m now calling upon the 7,000 of you who subscribe to this blog to help us all in a valiant cause.
The Hive Mind is Losing Its Memory
I’ll cut to the chase. Twitter isn’t keeping up with all of the new members of the hive mind and the ever increasing number of daily tweets. As Kate pointed out in the comments on my last post the number of days we can search backwards is quickly growing shorter as the hive mind continues to lose its memory. At the time of writing I can search back 28 days. What happens when we can’t search backwards at all? A better question might be: what are we losing if we can’t search backwards? Right now we’re losing the election, the inauguration, the super bowl, your customers talking about your product launch, your grandmother getting on Twitter for the first time. The list goes on.
So What Do We Do?
I’ve informed you of the impending threat to search. Now what? I’d like you to use your voice to express your concern over the demise of Twitter’s search. Let the hive mind know you’re eager to access the deep recesses of its memory. (Oh yeah, if you’re a business I’ll remind you that this is really important for you…you know – that whole market research thing.)
We Save the Hive Mind
A friend of mine and extremely talented creative, Gaius Benbow, has done us the honor of creating these badges you can place on your blog or website. It’s a simple way of increasing awareness about the current state of Twitter search. With enough movement behind this, and some help from the funding Twitter has recently received, hopefully we can save our memory. I encourage you to take this badge and wear it proudly. (Please save it to your own server!) I suggest linking it back to this post so people have an idea of what you’re talking about. Oh yeah, if you feel like making some noise about this on Twitter I think that would work too.
Long live the hive mind.