Since invented, I think only a few people have some ideas what Twitter is. It didn't even have a business model until recently (though the same goes to Facebook, even Google). I surely doubt that there was any vision that it is to be the most poweful global conversation engine of the 21century. Co-founder Williams hinted during his TED talk that he and the other founders were just thinking along the line of 'wouldn’t be interesting if there's an online application with which people can say what's on their minds in an instant.' Much of what has been happening next with Twitter were as surprising to them as they were to any tech foretune teller, or maybe even any of us.
It's amazing how invention seldom work the way the inventors intended. Once society has their hands on them, they figure out ways to make them work in their directions. Some of the time they even work way better (I suspect that by 'some' I mean 'most of the time' but as usual I have no data to back me up).
Back when Yahoo! was the king of the net (a day in internet years) it flooded me with new stuff, but they are stuff they steered me to know. When Google took the throne, I suddenly realized that I was just being handed the freedom that we netizens rightfully own all along (I mean, the page was just a logo and a search box). That was the year that my browsing frenzy truly began (that and the fact that I began to have enough money to pay for my own internet connection). Like a ferocious cancer, the number of information I accessed was on crazy high-speed growth.
The crazy thing about that --that is, for me-- is that Twitter actually managed to top that. With Twitter, you sign up, you follow people --those of your peers, those whom you share similar interests, and here comes the good part, those who know better than you do, and those who inspire you. After that, cyber magic happens.
With Google, the one thing that stands between you and the knowledge 'for you' is the right keyword. If you're keyword blind, all you the data you get are just garnish at best. Suddenly with Twitter, that blindness is globally medicated. All you need is those people to connect to. It even doesn't matter whether you know if the the people you know know what you don't know (ah crap, my line). You just follow some people, and you get what THEY google, too. It's like your very own outsourced team working for you. For free. And you can do the same for them, too. How you collaborate with them is a wide-open possibility.
On my Twitter days so far, I get to find out who inspire my idols. I get to know that Bill Gates is admiring Khan Academy founder Salman Khan. I get to read the same economic essays my favorite comedians read. I witnessed some great scientific minds get creamed by novice science soldiers (great overlooked debates of all time, in my opinion). I get to see how evidently the number one of anything is number one only by social perception, not by facts. Yes, I get to see significant political changes from the point of view of the very people who bring the strong words on to the streets, too (as opposed to major news media narratives). That exec from Google who had something to do with recent Egypt revolution is amazing.
The likes of these you can see literally every day. These are available because people you know search for things you probably won't, and TWEET them (maybe not for you, but you get them anyway). I think that is the clue to the true face of Twitter.
Those chains of rants and cheap wisdoms that busied our timelines are merely the surface, cosmetic even. Still, they don't have to be a bad thing. Maybe we'll learn as we go (besides, they may be well be a post for another day). Maybe these misthoughts are the building blocks of the eventual better lessons we will learn and earn. I have no freaking clue what will happen next with people. Will we still be on Twitter when we're better people? Or will we mirgrate to some Twitter killer? Or will we even be better people with whatever app at hands? You have to agree that is exciting (No, you don't have to).