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Helen Barrett
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Attended University of Leicester
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Helen Barrett

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Right now, Oxfam supporter Jodie Sandford is in Zimbabwe. She's visiting Oxfam projects, meeting the people she (and you) supports, asking the questions you'd ask – and seeing the difference it all makes. Keep up to date with exclusive videos, blogs and reports back from the trip here. And don't forget to let us know if you have any questions for Jodie while she's there.

But first of all, meet Jodie in this video as she prepares for the big trip.
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Helen Barrett

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Interesting, shame Telegraph couldn't be bothered to link to Experian report...
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Helen Barrett

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Voice originally shared:
How does it affect their social media presences?
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Helen Barrett

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By me today on Guardian's Voluntary Sector Network today: How Google+ could become a key social network for charities.
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Twitter Is Wrong About Google+

The gist of what I read into Twitter's knee-jerk rant about the new Google+ Search Integration is that people might not use Twitter or Twitter search and by golly, they think Twitter is pretty great so can't Google make it easier for users to find Twitter content.

Here's the Twitter statement:

For years, people have relied on Google to deliver the most relevant results anytime they wanted to find something on the Internet.

Often, they want to know more about world events and breaking news. Twitter has emerged as a vital source of this real-time information, with more than 100 million users sending 250 million Tweets every day on virtually every topic. As we’ve seen time and time again, news breaks first on Twitter; as a result, Twitter accounts and Tweets are often the most relevant results.

We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone. We think that’s bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users.

Are you serious Twitter? I think you are and that's what is so amazingly sad.

Twitter is bottom of the screen crawl

I've said this from the beginning, even when Google was experimenting with Tweets in SERPs. For the most part, Tweets are pretty useless for most searches. They should really simply be the crawl at the bottom of the TV screen on a news channel. It's mildly interesting and maybe I get the updated score on a football game but it's not all that and a bag of chips.

Get over yourself.

Twitter search sucks

So you want Google to make sure people are searching for and finding Tweets but ... you don't want to invest in that feature and prove that your content is worthwhile and compelling on a continual basis?

Shouldn't that tell you something? At least it should tell you that you might want to spend some time fixing up search, you know, if it's that important. How long ago did you acquire Summize again?

Real Time Search Is Huge Went Nowhere

A few years ago everyone said real-time search was going to be huge. CrowdEye and One Riot and Topsy and some others I probably forget were all going to revolutionize search and Google was some dinosaur who would never compete with all this awesome up to date content.

Yeah, Topsy is the only one left now. Real time is good for breaking news but not a heck of a lot more. That's not me saying so (though I have and still do say it) but that's market forces, that's user behavior saying it. Loudly.

Twitter configuration errors

Now perhaps Google thinks Tweets are really valuable for a majority of searches. Why they would think that, I don't know but lets just go with it. Then wouldn't you expect Twitter to have everything laced up and tidy? But they don't.

Do a search for your name and the modifier Twitter. Tell me how many results you find for your own Twitter account? It's usually at least two because Twitter can't seem to figure out how to exclude certain subdomains from being crawled and indexed.

There's Whining In Tech

There might not be crying in baseball but there is certainly whining in technology. Be better Twitter. If your Tweets are so amazing and vital to query intent then prove it and develop an awesome search experience that people flock to in droves.

But asking someone else to take mercy on you because your own product isn't up to snuff? That is wrong.

P.S. - Twitter, in case you're confused, Google is not a public service.
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Helen Barrett

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I'm writing about how charities use Google+ for a Guardian feature. I'm interested in why charities have joined, what your plans are and how much time and resources you are investing. Anyone interested in commenting? Please get in touch
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  • Financial Times
    Production journalist, present
  • Guardian Media Group
    Freelance subeditor
  • Haymarket Group
    Online editor
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Commissioning editor at the Financial Times
Commissioning editor at Financial Times Special Reports - video, audio, graphics and video production. Writer specialising in charities, social enterprises and technology
  • University of Leicester
    History and English
  • University of the Arts London
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