Jun 24, 2010

The Benefits of Real Time Search


I've admittedly always been a skeptic as to the value of real time search, e.g. including Twitter and (public) Facebook updates in Google and Bing results. My thought was always that if I wanted to search out what was happening in regards to a major news event, I'd do a full-on Twitter search from Twitter.com, rather than relying on a handful of results on Google.

But a recent event made me rethink that.

I had started to download the new iPhone OS4 to my 3G iPhone. As the hour-long back-up was starting, I had a vague recollection of reading that not all the new features would be available for 3G phones and decided to Google it to see what the story was.

Good thing I did.

The search results page showed a number of people retweeting an Engadget story warning of problems with the iOS4 upgrade on the 3G, along with an @ message from someone agreeing with their friend that their 3G phone now ran much slower.

Thus alerted, I did a full Twitter search, found that problems seemed to be the rule rather than the exception and aborted the upgrade (for now), thus saving me a considerable amount of hassle.

And proving the value of real-time search.

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