Looks a lot like Google, right? A simple search engine up at the top of the screen, where you type in the exact piece of information you seek. The difference is stated in their slogan "See what's happening, right now." Twitter is quickly becoming the source for real-time quick snippets of information as they unfold in everyday life.
A perfect example of this would be Tiger Wo...no I'm not gonna go that route because it's been way too overplayed. A perfect example would be to do a Twitter Search on "Kobe Bryant", which will bring up results from all us average, everyday Joes and Janes that will likely mention something about his miracle shot at the buzzer of the Lakers / Heat game on Friday night. (by the way it was absolutely amazing - check it out here). The point is that instead of waiting an hour or two (or even twenty minutes) for a news organization to post an article that Google picks up, it is now possible to search any term, and see how the general public feels about it...right now. :-)
This is an excellent parallel to Google's search engine, which favors information that has been posted for longer periods of time. In case you are thinking that Twitter is going to replace Google, it isn't. The former has already linked Friend Connect with Twitter, and that's just the beginning. My prediction is that the mass market will further embrace Twitter for their surveys of the landscape on breaking news (I hope somebody's watching tweets at the White House), while remaining loyal to Google as their main knowledge library.
To begin using Twitter's search engine, simply type in a term much like you would use Google. The same operators also work; for instance if you are looking for an exact term, put it in quotation marks like this: "Kobe Bryant". (A full list of operators can be found by clicking here)
How does this help you? Here's a quick suggestion: if you are looking for more business, try typing in a generic term that is relevant to what you do. For example - if you are a Realtor, type "looking for apartment". You'll see tons of tweets from people talking about their quest for new digs. If you localize your search using the advanced search tool, you can narrow your results by location. Quite frankly, most of the results right now are in NYC, but as this service continues to gain buzz, you'll get more results in the local area. Here are the tweet results: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=+looking+for+apartment+near:"Suffern+NY"+within:50mi.
Rockland Web Design occasionally searches for tweets based on the term "need a website". The result is a list of some possible future clients. I know I'm giving out some information that other web development companies may use, but it's ok since we're all professionals looking to help the client.
Anyway, I hope this clears up a little of the mystery surrounding Twitter. I would certainly recommend to keep a close eye on the latest innovations that this young company creates around its service. It's yet another cool technological advance that we have at our disposal. RockOn.