Like competing social media, Google+ allows you to follow friends but the ability to follow topics is very limited. At the moment we have "Sparks". They could do a lot better. I realize it would be a stretch to modify Google+ too far in this direction but surely they could do something to integrate topic-based and people-based following.

I filed some patents on this topic for Google when I was there in 2004-2006 and four have been approved. Use link below for a list if interested in what I believe real-time social media should really look like. Note that the invention in question significantly predates Twitter and all other social media except IRC and is therefore phrased as discussing "chat" but it's definitely applicable to Tweets and other real-time social media posts and covers vital parts of real-time search.

Disclaimer: I have no clue whether Google has used or is planning to use anything from these patents. As far as I can tell, Google patents new ideas for defensive purposes and may have little interest in implementing this kind of system. I gave the invention to Google (I actually invented it around 2002) since I believe they are the only organization that could pull this off at the required scale. I don't intend to discuss anything except what is said in these publicly available patents and some personal opinions unrelated to my previous work at Google.

I named my system "Pandemonium" but that name never caught on at Google. Still, I'd like to call these the "Pandemonium Patents" for the sake of discussion.

I want to use a Pandemonium system more than I want to build one. It would support real-time collaborative thinking about specific issues in massive groups of competent people and would be much more addictive and useful to just watch than even television.
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