« Kosmix Beta is live | Main | Cross posts from Inc »

March 08, 2009



Great post Vijay. Here are some comments regarding scaling Twitter usefulness as search.

For most searches there might not be any "tweeters" with idle time to respond to them. For popular events there might be enough people willing to engage in that conversation. For most long tail queries and the volume that goes with that this is not scalable as it requires real humans to answer on the other end than machine and algorithms.

Tags don't scale with scale. Flickr tags have not kept up with the sheer number of images uploaded. The ambiguity problem is even more severe with most tags irrelevant or weakly related. It's not impossible to solve this but just more harder.

minor nit. Your refer to Citibank but point to AIG search.

Vijay Chittoor

Good catch about the Citigroup/AIG mixup, fixed it now.

Agree about your point on tagging, as I'd indicated in the post as well. I admit I don't know the right answer here, but hashtags are certainly not the best solution.


The friction of setting up an account and tweeting to look for an answer would shut out a whole generation of users. To get a foothold in search Twitter has to wait for a whole new generation of hyper-internet friendly facebookers to become the norm.

Wouldn't it me better served as mouth piece platform for bloggers/writers/shouters. It's similar to what YouTube became. Broadcasting for the rest of us. And Twitter could be adding a layer to that.

The comments to this entry are closed.