Bing Adds Twitter Search, Overload

For all the hoopla, it turns out that Microsoft's foray into presenting real-time information--Twitter posts--on Bing is pretty lame. I just hope it stays that way.

I spent an hour Binging around and finding no tweets before I realized it was necessary to add "twitter" or sometimes "tweet" to a search term to see tweets in the results. Not having them just appear when appropriate is kind of dumb if Microsoft is really serious about this Twitter thing.

So this must be more like a toe in the water. Microsoft says it is only adding "several thousand" well-known or prolific tweeters to Bing at the moment. And then it makes them pretty hard to find. Go figure.

Bing "ryan seacrest" and compare the result to "ryan seacrest twitter" and then to "ryan seacrest tweet". If Microsoft had this right, I'd think the results would be much more similar than they are.

With the Science Fair aspect of this behind us, let me make it clear: Tweets don't belong on Bing. Tweets add only noise--not value--to what is promoted as a finely honed "decision engine."

Did I miss something or isn't Bing supposed to be the more focused search engine than Google or Yahoo? Bing, always ready to help us make important decisions--mostly about what to spend money on? So what are Tweets from Ryan Seacrest and Al Gore, among others, doing there? Have they become my personal shoppers? This doesn't exactly speak to ending "search overload".

Like many, I have a tolerate/hate relationship with Bing and, like all smart people, I use search.twitter.com for its intended purpose. Having that URL handy, I don't need Bing for tweet searches and if I wanted to follow Mssrs. Seacrest or Gore, I'd add them my list. Problem solved.

Microsoft needs to resist the temptation--and they aren't off to a good start--to add supposed cool features that aren't core to the Bing experience. Tweets from celebs don't help me make decisions. And when MS broadens Bing it risks causing confusion.

People need to understand precisely what Bing is supposed to do for them and, in advance, how its results are going to be different and more useful than Google results.

The only way to successfully compete with Google will be for Bing to define a reasonably narrow but very deep niche for itself. Helping people make decisions, especially about products they are considering, is an obvious and good choice.

I am not sure Bing really needs to do anything else. Is there really need for a Bing news page? I'm not sure, but I do know one thing: Tweets are a distraction that Bing doesn't have time for.

David Coursey tweets as techinciter and Bings about once a day. (Not always about Ryan Seacrest.) Send e-mail to him from www.coursey.com/contact.

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