Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Twitter is the new messaging bus - very cool

In a recent blog post I said that I thought that Twitter was the new TCP/IP. What I meant by this is that Twitter is the messaging protocol which provides value to others, making it almost impossible to monetise in its own right.

To back this up, I've spent a few hours knocking up an example. I've built a new bot service which uses Twitter for its inputs and outputs.

GSearch lets you use Twitter to search the Guardian newspaper's archive. To use it, you need to follow 'gsearch'. A few seconds later, it will follow you back (and increase your twitter stock, if nothing else).

To perform a search, simply send a tweet with the hashtag #gsearch and the search terms you want to look for. The bot will read your tweet, take the search terms, search the Guardian's archive, compress the url of the first hit with Bit.ly, and send you a direct message in return. It checks for new messages once a minute, so you should get your message back quite quickly.

The point of this is to demonstate that Twitter is at the same time, enormously valuable yet impossible to monetise. At no point during this service do you have to visit Twitter's site.

This isn't a managed or supported service though - its just running on my PC. If it is off, then its off, but if its on, then I think that it is quite a nice demo of mashing up applications using Twitter as the messaging bus.

The upshot? Perhaps the easist, most compatible mobile interface to the Guardian's web site. Simply use your mobile twitter client of choice, and wait for your search result to come to you.

Let me know what you think

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