February 10, 2009
First, a confession: I am late to “get” Twitter. Matt Mullenweg told me he thought Twitter was going to become important about a year and a half ago, just before SXSW 2007. Yep, that was before the digerati and blogerati etc etc were all on the Twitter bandwagon, and (I think?) before Twitter had rasied venture capital. I signed up, played around with it for a couple of days, and declared it a dumb idea. Shame on me, if for no other reason than failing to appreciate that Matt M has an extraordinary sniffer for web software products and so I should pay serious attention when he is convinced something is important (the other time Matt told me to pay attention to something was a fledgling little startup called Quantcast, which I proceeded to stalk for 12 months, ultimately backed, and now is a portfolio company for whom I have exceptionally high hopes).
In late 2008 I started to become a little embarassed that I was so far behind the Twitter curve, so re-engaged. And I am just now starting to really appreciate it. But even as of last week I hadn’t really grokked the coolness of Twitter search. Yes, as a social media investor I should be publicly flogged or something for this! Borthwick’s post makes a simple but potentially powerful point: Twitter is the single best way on the web to quickly search on something very current, like, say, a plane landing in the Hudson, or the Grammy’s, or, for me last week, who was doing what at the TED conference. The more I have thought about this, and played with Twitter search, the more convinced I am that Borthwick is right.