In my experience with Twitter thus far, what I have found most useful is the sharing of links from users who I don’t know but admire (Vinod Khosla, for example) to interesting items that they are reading or have written. A person’s feed provides an insight into the person’s mind and a compass to interesting reading.
I find less useful most of the random chatter that people post, however much I admire them. Most people are less witty in their observations than they think! There ends up being too much “clutter” to sort through, which is perhaps the greatest frustration, and for my use case, means that I “unfollow” accounts that I would otherwise follow, where it appears to me that the ratio between interesting and uninteresting content is not worth it to follow in real-time, despite the occasional killer post.
However, even where the content created is too much to manage in real-time, it can be a tremendous resource to look back on such posts even when I don’t follow an account when I have a specific interest that I would like more information on. After the fact, I may want to get a sense of the Twitter universe’s opinions on an event or a movie or a recent issue. It seems to me a tremendous use case as a search database — an alternative or supplement to other search engines. For some issues, particularly recent or current issues, I think the utility of the results may be better than core Google. Given that utility, I would love to know what if anything Twitter is doing or has done in “paid search.” Isn’t this a natural revenue model to monetize by either jumping into search in a more serious way and complementing it with paid search or selling to a search engine who can monetize the content?
Twitter and its users have created a stocked pond of content; it’s time to fish in it.