Don't Tell Collecta's Gerry Campbell Bing is Indexing Twitter in Real-Time

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-10-29 Print this article Print

I had an interesting conversation with Collecta CEO Gerry Campbell earlier this week to research my piece about what Microsoft and Google's agreements with Twitter to index tweets will do for those companies.

Collecta is one of the two dozen or so real-time search startups that has been indexing Twitter content for months.

I expected Campbell, who was an adviser to and investor in the Summize real-time search engine Twitter acquired, to be more prickly about Bing and Google busting into his backyard, but he fully expected it.

More than that, Campbell claims what Bing is doing with Twitter isn't really real time. For real.

Campbell said Microsoft is searching Twitter and indexing tweets, but not surfacing them with the same stream speed as Collecta, which he said was designed to watch the Web and persistently push Twitter and other socially-driven content to users as it arrives online.

What Bing is doing is more of an archival system, crawling and indexing Twitter tweets and making them searchable, he argued. He also said he expects the same approach from Google whenever it launches its Twitter feed search because Google's mission is organizing the world's info and serving it up. Collecta highlights the differences here in a blog post, but Campbell sums them up as such:

Archival systems are like an ocean. Real-time systems are like a river or a stream." He said archival approaches from Bing and Google are "timely, but not real time."

He's got a point. In a quick and dirty test, eWEEK searched both Bing Twitter and Collecta for tweets on "Droid," the red-hot Motorola phone expected from Verizon Wireless Nov. 6.

Droid on Collecta:

Collecta droid.png

Droid on Bing Twitter:

Droid bing twitter.png

The tweets and other comments flow a lot faster through Collecta, whereas there seems to be more latency in Bing's Twitter site.

Do some tests yourself and tell me what you think. Is Bing Twitter the ocean, and Collecta the stream? |

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