Building signals with Twitter (and for Google, with Digg)

Update: More on “Google looking to buy Digg, maybe..

What is Digg to Google? How about inmarket indicators for where display advertising is about to ramp up. Let’s call it Yahoo Buzz for Google?


I stumbled upon (no pun) the Twitter community page on Silicon Alley Insider this morning.

It was immediately then that I figured out how Henry Blodget was expecting to go up against Michael Arrington in tech news (or so I believe). Silicon Alley would use Twitter signals to identify newsworthy companies before TechCrunch (or so if my thesis again).

A common data aggregation and processing point for many companies, like Google, is building signals. In this case, signals are bits, sometimes incomplete, of data that a company coalesce together to create inference or data review. By understanding signal type, characterizing it, and monitoring its frequency, a data system or company–in this case a small one like Silicon Alley–can interpret actions before they happen.

In this case, Silicon Alley could here about Microsoft-Yahoo deal (through evaluating Twitter messages) before multiple sources from TechCrunch. Isn’t this also what Digg is somewhat about?

In a bigger more important, Twitter-type signals could be used to learn about a tsunami as it’s or before it’s happening.

The interpretation of signals in business and through communication on the Web (Twitter, blogs, etc) is surely a burgeoning industry and one that will get more press as computing infrastructure can manage more data in shorter timeframes. The challenge will be in accurately labeling the data in realtime so as to create meaningful interpretations.

More on signals and brand metrics here:


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