The World According to Twitter

How distorted is Twitter's view of the world? That question is neatly answered by Topsy, a new search engine that's like Google, except sorted by the attention-deficit-disorder sufferers who live on Twitter.

Topsy launched last night. Its trick — ranking Web pages based on their popularity within Twitter — works awfully well for searches related to technology and breaking news. But it also effectively illustrates just what is important to Twitter's young and overcaffeinated users.

Some examples:

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The World According to Twitter

Who is Barack Obama? Why, he's that guy who recorded an audiobook with lots of funny swear words!

The World According to Twitter

Chile is a mall in the Southern Hemisphere, recently blessed by the Jonas Brothers with an awesome concert.

The World According to Twitter

Afghanistan is known primarily for a pig flu outbreak.

The World According to Twitter

John McCain is an old guy whose speech was interrupted by a music video.



Topsy is useful enough that it's starting to look like maybe a big deal. Good for it! But here's to hoping it never replaces Google.com.