I went to grab a coffee this afternoon at Blue Bottle in Oakland and the barista let me know a celeb was in the area - Mark Ruffalo. I have no real opinion about him as an actor. I think I've seen two movies he was in and thought he didn't add nor took away from my enjoyment of said movies. However, I'm always curious when movies or TV shows shoot in Oakland (Moneyball, Matrix Reloaded, etc) so I went to rusty-trusty Google and typed in "Mark Ruffalo Oakland". Nothing remotely relevant came up. Tried a few variations, adjusted some search parameters (only searches within 24 hours - one week) but still nothing that explains why Mark Ruffalo was in Oakland. I then popped over to Twitter and typed in the same keywords "Mark Ruffalo" and got these results:
As you can see, the 5th result down mentioned Mark Ruffalo and Sungevity, a solar startup down the street. Clicked on the link and BAM!, Mark Ruffalo sitting in a Tesla Roadster wearing a Sungevity hat. Looks like he was in the area not to shoot a movie but to pop into Sungevity for something or other.
This brings up my second instance where Twitter succeeded where Google (and other methods) failed to solve a problem/query. Over the July 4th holiday, I wanted to know if Blue Bottle was open on Monday, the 4th. Calling their number didn't help because it was a standard phone greeting offering hours of service during normal weeks but not holidays. Same for their website and any search I did about Blue Bottle and the 4th of July yielded no mention of hours. I then went over to Twitter and found Blue Bottle's account and BAM!, there you go.
Now these are just two specific instances and of course, I still do most of my general search on Google but it's been a long time since I last found the answer to a query outside of Google. It's a death by a thousand cuts for them as Facebook, Twitter, and others start chipping away at their defenses. Google looked unassailable, much like Microsoft 10-15 years ago. Today, there's only one product of Microsoft's that I use, Office. I've switched from Windows to Mac for my hardware, Windows Mobile to iPhone for my cell, and even Exchange to Google Apps for my businesses. The endless cycle of rise and fall in tech is unrelenting and no one is immune.