Real-time Flows and Ranking “Sentiments”

If Google is the database of "Intentions", is twitter (or something similar that captures real-time flow and thoughts) the database of "Sentiments".

From Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch:

"In order to truly mine that data, Twitter needs to figure out how to extract the common sentiments from the noise (something which Summize was originally designed to do, by the way, but it was putting the cart before the horse—you need to be able to do simple searches before you start looking for patterns). But what is the best way to rank real-time search results—by number of followers, retweets, some other variable? It is not exactly clear. But if Twitter doesn’t solve this problem, someone else will and they will make a lot of money if they do it right."


  1. Nobody actually connects “extract sentiment” with “make a lot of
    money” (maybe that’s obvious to others)
    This is mostly tangential red herrings of implementation details –
    “you need to be able to do simple searches before you start looking
    for patterns”, “what is the best way to rank real-time search results”
    – in order to distract the technically minded from the question of
    how this helps people or makes money. Kind of what you’d expect from
    TechCrunch – if there actually is money there, why not actually do it
    instead of writing about it?
    From the linked TechCrunch post
    “What makes Google and other search engines so valuable is that they
    capture people’s intent—what they are looking for, what they desire,
    what they want to learn about. But they don’t do a great job at
    capturing what people are doing or what they are thinking about. For
    thoughts and events that are happening right now, searching Twitter
    increasingly brings up better results than searching Google.”
    “Why can’t Google simply index Twitter? It does, but its search
    results give more weight to links than to time. It could create a new
    search product along the lines of Blog Search or News search that is
    geared more towards Micro-messaging services such as Twitter,
    FriendFeed, and the rest.”
    This work will be done – there are tons of tools and people with the
    skill – but which approach will help people or make money?

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