Twitter as data feed — brainstorm

Twitter is a data feed of an individual. The individual chooses what data to report and how frequently. The data format is generally text with a character limit.

Data feeds of course have been around a long, long time. Twitter is simply a new format of data feed with a community that seems to really like it. Unlike blogs and other web-based content, I suspect Twitter also has a high content generator/viewer ratio, which is good for buzz. People that participate as generators of content in a system generally are more ‘jazzed’ about the system than viewers-only.

Data feeds that have demand associated with them are assets.

Value of a data feed may depend on the data content, the data format (including its flexibility/portability), the timeliness of the data, the accuracy of the data, the “authority” of the data, the scarcity of the data, the reliability of the feed’s distribution.

A data feed has a sustained value over a long time period (say multi-year) and then a value that may spike based on the demand of the data in a specific time.

When data is ‘normal’ it is typically less valuable than when it is not normal. There is value in anomoly. For example, a police log is a data feed. If for 360 days there are no murders, then for the following 5 days in a row there are 10 murders per day, the police log becomes, in a sense, a lot more valuable in the latter period.

The more data there is (and the more data ‘feeds’), the more important it is to have optimized ‘data digestion.’

Here are some components of data digestion:

what is important vs. what is not important
what is new information vs. what is already known
what is valid vs. what is invalid
what is reality vs. perception. which matters, when?

also, this doesn’t fit in the above, but assuming a piece of data is knowledge it is often either factual knowledge or how knowledge. As in, an average 9-iron shot in golf can go 140 yards vs. this is how to hit a 9-iron 140 yards.


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