I’ve been into Wikipedia lately, it may not be the most perfectly politically correct source for definitive information, but it works. Crowd sourced information is far denser than an algorithm when it comes to encyclopedia worthy content.
Twitter turns out to be a great source of crowd sourced information too, it’s the main reason I ‘put up’ with the enterprise class texting application. I follow a group of smart people and ‘ask Twitter’ when I have a question that I feel members of my little society are likely to know.
I was in the market for a new portable camera and so Twitter’d as much. @ResPres , The Dude when it comes photography utensils, clued me in to the Lumix TZ5 and posted pictures on Flickr using the camera. Sold, bought one 2 days later and love it. @respres and I never exchanged an email or phone call, all done via Twitter.
@tyr needed a new passport fast. I told him about a service I successfully used in the recent past, and believe he engaged them too, solving his dilemma.
@Alex_Stenbeck twits daily mortgage rate pricing and related trends, very useful and cool. Many mortgage brokers pay Barry Habib a good buck for similar info.
@bnix had a question about configuring Twitter with Google Talk, he got his answers from the community.
The side effect to what’s becoming a pretty useful little tool is the ‘noise’ of consistent text messages that goes with following 60+ people like I do. Trust me following 60 people is peanuts, some follow 600. Twitter offers designations for ‘twiting’ a certain number of times. One can achieve ‘E-Twit’ status by sending 1000 ‘Twits’, and many aspire to be. This causes the mix of emotions many have toward Twitter; many curse it but more use it. I find most of the noise to be a tolerable level of comedy, many twits make me laugh thruought the day.
Many talk about ‘Web 3.0′ or a semantic, smarter web…Twitter is pretty close to that on a primitive, granular level but its evolving quick. 3rd party applications like twhirl integrate Twitter to ones desktop. Sites like Friend Feed aggregate content from multiple user feeds in classic Mash-Up fashion and Alert Thingy (great name) is to Friend Feed as twhirl is to Twitter.
So if you can tolerate a little conversation, Twitter is a pretty dang useful tool if you’ve got a question neither Google nor Wikipedia may answer particularly well. I’m far more likely to buy a camera that a trusted professional in my social community recommends than Google…
This was a completely random post, it was supposed to be about Innovation vs Imitation and being ‘just a little bit better’…maybe next time