My friend Gil Dibner has a great post putting the recent breath-taking success of Twitter in perspective, for both ardent Twitter fans and newbies. Twitter's success is something I posted on a few days ago. A couple of highlights from Gil's post:
- Twitter lowered the barriers to UGC effectively to zero. This, in my view, is the underlying reason for the massive adoption. Twitter is not really a medium for consumption. It’s a medium for expression – and its really really easy. What’s more, the fear factor is reduced to almost nothing because even if you say something stupid, it quickly dissolves into the endless stream of tweets and disappears. While its very possible to write brilliant tweets…most tweets are far from brilliant…but who cares? We’re participating. Ever since Geocities made it possible for “regular people” to start expressing themselves on the web, we’ve been witness a trend towards ever easier platforms and formats for online expression. Twitter is quite possibly the ultimate expression of that trend. I’m all for the success of Twitter, but god help us if Twitter lives and the NY Times dies…
- Twitter demonstrates the power of centralization. Talk as much as you want about openness and distribution, but Twitter is really about centralization. Yes it’s true – users create the content in a distributed fashion using any number of interfaces – but that content has value only because others know where to go to get it. If the Twitter phenomenon wasn’t highly centralized, it would have no brand value, no value as a real time search engine, and no value as a platform for brands or individuals trying to reach an audience."
The whole piece is worth reading. I'd also recommend bookmarking Gil's site TechTLV, for future reading.