Why is Twitter going to be so important this year?

I think there are several components. Here are a few that spring to mind, I suspect there will be more as the year progresses.

Depth, accessibility and brevity.

Depth: Finally something leverages in real time the vast resources of the internet – i.e. you and me. Those millions of people all interconnected are the real power that drives the internet. Yes there are billions of pages stored, images, media files, directories and databases waiting to be read and enjoyed but at last there’s somewhere you can go for help or solace that isn’t stifled by having the technology intercede. In this case it facilitates rather than intimidates. Its a step beyond a bulletin board or chat room. It feels like the first time everyone’s been properly connected.

Accessibility: The cost of entry is very low. You don’t need a massive or powerful machine. You’re not asked for reams of personal information. It’s portable, constant and most importantly, searchable. It allows access to celebrity, it allows large corporates to find a voice and form a personality. The playing field is very level, its limitations give everyone the same opportunity.

Brevity: It encourages verbal ping-pong. You’ve got 140 characters max. Sure you can squish your URLs but those pixels are precious. There isn’t superfluous, expansive dialog. People get to the point and quickly. It’s informal, often irreverent and casual. It’s an easy ice breaker, commenting on someone else’s tweet is a fantastic mixer. Brevity also stifles verbosity, if you’ve got a serious point you’ll make it in a different arena, a quick status update or comment takes seconds.

How people leverage it will be very interesting. It’s going to have to be more than simply re-tweeting other people.

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