My newest post is up on the Stanford Social Innovation Review Opinion blog.  Here’s an excerpt:

The ability to search online has changed our lives. It’s true. To Google something is a verb that you can look up in the dictionary now. What has it done?

  • Because of search, it no longer matters how many pages there are on the Web, because search can find what you are looking for.
  • Because of search, it no longer matters how many blog posts I write, because search can find the relevant ones for me or my readers.
  • Because of search, it no longer matters how many photos we post online or where we post them, because search can filter out our tags and codes.
  • Because of search, it no longer matters whether you are a blogger or a company, because search will sift the most active conversations to the top.

We are so used to searching online now that we can’t get away from it, rather, we don’t want to browse the web without it. Instead of going to Google.com to search the Web, we have search tools (often powered by Google) in our browsers, on our website and on our blogs, and everywhere else really.

Enter Twitter.

Twitter has created the most up-to-the minute archive of conversations around the world.  And guess what many of those conversations include: links.  We can see, through using Twitter Search, the public timeline, or Trending, what topics are popular, what links are being shared, and more.  These are things you can’t necessarily find in a Google search.  So it’s no wonder that there are preliminary talks between the two companies.

So, what’s the advantage for nonprofits?

There’s a reason that SEO (search engine optimization) consultants are so busy with work—lots and lots of companies and organizations of all sizes want to increase their standing in the millions of search results returned when you look up their key words in a search. But with Twitter, it isn’t static.  It’s constantly, right now, with every second, changing. Because it’s all conversation.

Nonprofits are already on Twitter and are joining every day as more and more organizations recognize opportunities to use the tool to connect with their communities online in real-time and leverage the communication tool to expand their campaigns and communications. As search continues to become more dynamic for Twitter users and integrated more and more into the process of finding and contributing to conversations as well as finding information and resources, nonprofits are in a terrific position to greatly influence the community.

For example…  [Read the full post here.]

What do you think? Have you found people, organizations, or resources via Twitter that you couldn’t find otherwise? Would love to hear what you think!

You can add your comments and thoughts here or on the SSIR blog.

SSIR: Nonprofit Advantage for Future of Twitter and Search
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  • I had no idea of how important twitter could be to nonprofits.
    I am finding all kinds of organizations that one month ago were not on twitter. I have never seen a social phenomena like this in my life. When you have country music stations talking about tweeting, you know it’s huge..
    Thanks.

  • Thanks for your comment, Phil! The Portland, OR, news station even let’s people report news items via Twitter!

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