As you might know, I mainly use Twitter through SMS on my faithful Sharp Sidekick. So every once in a while I'll come across a tweet worth further investigation, but trying to find those tweets has proven difficult. I've tried Twitter's web interface and one of the leading clients, TweetDeck, but I haven't found an easy way to find those tweets.

So I figured I would try Twitter's Search interface. In some of my original attempts, I was not successful in finding individual tweets. Yesterday I sat down to clear out some old tweets on my phone. Usually, I'll just type the shortened URL into the browser, which alleviates the whole search problem. However, this time, when I typed in the URL an unexpected page appeared.

Apparently I had misread a "0" for "O" or vice versa and retrieved the wrong page (you know those URL shortners can be tricky, for example, "1" or lowercase "L"), so I had to search for the tweet. The particular tweet I was looking for was a little dated. It was from Ex-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich about "social gaming strategies that can help companies like BP win public relations battles". The date of the tweet was June 4th, 2010. I pulled up Google's Twitter Search and typed in "gingrich public BP." Bingo! While it had replaced "gingrich" with "newtgingrich" (his real Twitter account name), the tweet I was looking for was second in the list of results.

Just out of curiosity, I tried the same search on Twitter's Search Page. Zippo. I changed the search string to "newtgingrich public BP." Still, zippo! There it was, plainer than the nose on your face, Google's Twitter Search was better than Twitter's.

This of course, should come as no surprise. For Google, search is core to their success, it's what made them the number one search engine. However, for Twitter, search is context. It's a feature they added to help increase adoption of their micro-blogging platform. It is, among a long laundry list of features they need. Hint, that's a lead in to my next post.

Note: For more on "core versus context," see Geoffery Moore's "Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of Their Evolution." There's a summary the book's webpage.