We’ve (you’ve) been asking for it for a year now. Real-time search. Finally, it’s here. And from the most unlikely sources.
Bing has included real-time Twitter searches on a limited basis. You type in the @ name of someone you want to find on Twitter and that person’s Twitter stream shows up at the top of the search results (truthfully, only two tweets – but there’s a link to see more tweets, which catapults you to that individual’s Twitter stream on Twitter). The interesting thing is that Bing also identifies other areas on the Web that pertain to that individual and bring up relevant search results for that person.
I particularly like that second feature because if you are looking for someone with a common name (ie John Smith) and you know their name on Twitter then you can find all the top places online that are about them (Facebook profile, LinkedIn, all their websites, etc.) just by Binging their Twitter @ name. Otherwise, just search for the name and you’ll get information on everyone named John Smith. That’s a very useful feature.
Beyond Bing, however, there is an actual real-time search engine. It’s name is Collecta. Collecta allows you to search the web and find the latest information on any topic. Collecta uses information from Twitter, RSS feeds, and social media (including Flickr) to deliver your search results. So instead of finding information that was relevant last year, you will find the latest information that is relevant right now.
I tested Collecta and it took several minutes before it turned up a result on “poetry”. I guess people don’t discuss poetry at 9:30 a.m. But, the bright side is you can perform multiple search simultaneously. While you are waiting for the results of your last query to come up you can make another search. Of course, you’ll have to wait for that one too. So much for real time. But we’re getting there.