Bing/Twitter Search is a Giant Cluster

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Woman Wrestling With Network CablesThis is what happens when a great search engine that appears to have its head on straight (Bing) teams up with a company that has little clue about how to not implode on itself (Twitter): Bing/Twitter search (just went live in Beta):

http://www.bing.com/twitter

On first glance, my initial thought was: This is awful. Seriously, just awful. Ask my #prbc friends. I wasn’t happy with the product. Basically, I thought Bing and Twitter had gotten together and created a giant cluster of links, tweets and people’s Twitter handles. Basically, there was no structure or coherent approach to how to effectively utilize and manage this new search feature.

And after taking some more time to look the site over, while I am beginning to see some value to the search and what we as marketers and PR pros can/will be able to do with it, I’m still not totally convinced it’s the right kind of Twitter search that both professionals and laypersons need, as well as what we have been seeking for a very long time.

Here is what I would love to see in a viable Twitter search feature (no matter what site it is hosted on):

Keeping things simple. That’s it. Give people the basic tweets and information they need upfront, and then allow them to dig deeper through tabs and other features to find the more nuanced information.

Right now, the Bing/Twitter search beta site looks like a mess of links, people’s Twitter handles and a whole bunch more info. We need to have the ability to pare down from broad info to smaller/incremental units. Otherwise, information and tweets just get lost in the shuffle.

Not to sound like a Debbie Downer with all of these new social media initiatives, but a big problem with many of them is that they aren’t scaled right at all. What Bing has created here is great for the uber-marketer/PR pro who has time to sort through literally hundreds of lines of useless text and links to find what they are looking for.

But for the average busy person who wants to be able to easily and quickly sort through this, I don’t think this new search is all that valuable. Maybe I need to give it more time, and I fully intend to explore the search more and see what value it offers. But right now, at least in my opinions, the Bing/Twitter search is just more noise in an already cluttered field of searches.

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  • http://twitter.com/tjdietderich TJ Dietderich

    I would like to meet this “uber-marketer/PR pro who has time to sort through literally hundreds of lines of useless text and links to find what they are looking for.” I don't think that person exists!

  • keithtrivitt

    TJ – Very good point! And that actually goes right back to my entire point of the need for simplicity with monitoring and search of any social media, particularly Twitter, which has its own well-document problems with noise and clutter of messages.

    If social media search and monitoring is ever going to be successful and widely adopted, it has to fit into the framework of how people already interact with search, which is why I believe Google's search is going to be far more successful and adopted than Bing's Twitter search: Google has already said it plans to incorporate Twitter and SM search within existing search fields, such as when you see links, photos and videos for what you searched for; rather than creating an entirely separate field for SM search, such as Bing has done.

    A little bit of information up front for an SM search that is categorized and broken down in a coherent and clear manner can go a long way to toward making SM search a great tool for everyone.

    Thanks for chiming in!

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  • http://twitter.com/tjdietderich TJ Dietderich

    I would like to meet this “uber-marketer/PR pro who has time to sort through literally hundreds of lines of useless text and links to find what they are looking for.” I don't think that person exists!

  • keithtrivitt

    TJ – Very good point! And that actually goes right back to my entire point of the need for simplicity with monitoring and search of any social media, particularly Twitter, which has its own well-document problems with noise and clutter of messages.

    If social media search and monitoring is ever going to be successful and widely adopted, it has to fit into the framework of how people already interact with search, which is why I believe Google's search is going to be far more successful and adopted than Bing's Twitter search: Google has already said it plans to incorporate Twitter and SM search within existing search fields, such as when you see links, photos and videos for what you searched for; rather than creating an entirely separate field for SM search, such as Bing has done.

    A little bit of information up front for an SM search that is categorized and broken down in a coherent and clear manner can go a long way to toward making SM search a great tool for everyone.

    Thanks for chiming in!