Search, Discovery, and Mining the Global Thought Stream (Real-Time Mindreading)

For the longest time, there has been a debate, about what is the next big challenge on the way to “augmented reality” after search. Logically, it should be discovery, but somehow sites like Stumbleupon have not hit the main stream. Over the last year the buzz around twitter has grown stronger and Erick Schonfeld argues on Techcrunch that we are moving into a world, where we can mine the “thought stream” of the world:

What if you could peer into the thoughts of millions of people as they were thinking those thoughts or shortly thereafter? And what if all of these thoughts were immediately available in a database that could be mined easily to tell you what people both individually and in aggregate are thinking right nowabout any imaginable subject or event? Well, then you’d have a different kind of search engine altogether. A real-time search engine. A what’s-happening-right-now search engine.

Translated into the frameworks of the venture capitalists, Twitter is an interesting proposition, because it is:

  1. Open.  That makes it easy for others to build on top of Twitter and it also makes it searchable.
  2. Real time. It is a huge database of what is happening right now.
  3. Ubiquitous. You can get to it from just about any device.
  4. Scalable. (Don’t laugh)
  5. Persistent. It allows for an archive of what is happening and what has happened, which is searchable (see No. 1).

About Philipp

Philipp Müller works in the IT industry and is academic dean of the SMBS. Author of "". Proud father of three amazing children. The views expressed in this blog are his own.

17. February 2009 by Philipp
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