Google buying Twitter: Good for us, but what's in it for them?

In the latest Twitter buyout rumor, TechCrunch recently claimed that the micro-blogging site was in talks with Google about a potential buyout. Presumably, Twitter would allow Google to develop a search engine, in return for cash and Google stock. There are conflicting reports about the possible merger, with Kara Swisher's Boomtown blog saying that while Google and Twitter have talked, there are no plans for a buyout at the moment.

Whatever the outcome, when people talk about Twitter, the term zeitgeist often enters the conversation. A fancy German word for the spirit of the times, zeitgeist seems a natural way to describe Twitter. After all, in many ways, Twitter is the zeitgeist, or at least the best reflection of it.

Beneath the news feeds and the viral marketers, Twitter is composed of almost ten million users venting their feelings and thoughts. When the weather is gloomy, people twitter about it, and when a President's speech bores members of Congress, the tweets fly. On an individual basis, it is a means for noting personal emotions, but in a larger context, it is the pulse of the public (or at least that portion of it that uses the latest technology).