Could Twitter Actually Have a Business Model in Keywords?

Biz Stone got this directionally correct, it is just not in a format that is usable in real time, yet…

If I were the lead product manager at Twitter, I’d be setting up two primary screens:

1) Keywords across the entire network overall which toggle switches for the frequency compared to normal (it would be cool if this was somehow “normalized” so that less frequent words with huge percentage increases actually got noticed – so that everything wasn’t Angelina Jolie, Barack Obama, Brad Pitt, Michael Arrington, Jason Calacanis, Fred Wilson, etc).

2) Graphs and/or alert spikes of user defined keywords – ie ones that are important to oneself personally or to one’s business or clients. I would dare to say this might actually be a business model that could lead to meaningful monetization – I think alot of web services haven’t thought this through nearly enough. Organizing real-time data for useful decision making as a business model worked out OK for Michael Bloomberg if I recall correctly. Some might say Google Trends does this already from a search perspective, but it doesn’t break down the word clusters to core words with “sidekicks” and is not the leading indicator that Twitter is by an uncertain but definite time margin.

Before I’d get to this though, Twitter would have to become stable and Twitter would have to fix the AIM problem I posted about on June 1 and have not gotten a response to yet. Good luck on getting those items in order first, then feel free to give me a shout Biz. 🙂

10 Responses to Could Twitter Actually Have a Business Model in Keywords?

  1. aaron wall July 29, 2008 at 9:49 pm #

    I had a strategy for a related business model, but lacked the courage and focus to implement it. 🙂

    Twitter could do it much better than my hacked up strategy was though…they could even let you pick thought leaders in different spaces / market segments, and see what people around that part of the social graph are talking about.

    Their bias is toward bleeding edge users, which would not represent the entire market, but represents an affluent part of the market that likes to talk and be heard…I think Malcolm Gladwell calls them connectors, and Seth Godin calls them sneazers.

  2. tweetip July 29, 2008 at 10:09 pm #


  3. Carolyn Shelby July 29, 2008 at 10:11 pm #

    Re: Aaron Wall

    It’s spelled “sneezers”.

    Spelling Nazi FTW!!!


  4. Svetlana Gladkova July 30, 2008 at 2:32 am #

    I can certainly agree this could be a business model – and I think news agencies should be the ones working hard on such a tool to get their news faster already not to hear further comparisons of Twitter breaking news faster.

  5. steve baker July 31, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    I could see this developing into an 24/7 index of global thinking and trends. Investors could study the correlations between certain word movements and market activities. They could then hitch them to the financial instruments. I guess it’s like buzz in the blogs, but even more timely and concise, given the nature of Twitter.

  6. Nick Stamoulis July 31, 2008 at 7:52 pm #

    We definitely look forward to Twitter ironing the kinks out…. soo much potential in that site!

  7. Khyle August 7, 2008 at 4:43 pm #

    Dave – nice meeting you at breakfast yesterday. I am very high on Twitter’s long term value. This is definitely part of it. You can use Summize’s engine to get an RSS feed of Twitter searches right now (i.e. I track my employer, IfByPhone).

    And once they get more real time (and obviously harpoon the fail whale) that’ll become more realistic.

    But it’s also about information discovery. Sooner or later the distinction between blog post\comments\tweets\etc are going to blur.

    And at least in my opinion, Twitter is in the best position to capitalize on it.

    Parenthetically, it seems that Fred Wilson invests in the right companies in this sector.


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