Twitter's Power, Explained


One of the first hints that Twitter would turn out to be useful was the dismissive tone people took about it, which sounded a lot like early reactions to blogging.

You remember: blogs are for pajama-wearing losers who live in their parents' basements. That didn't turn out to to be the case.

The next phase of Twitter's emergence -- pop-culture tittering over the name and the technology -- also recapitulated blogging history.

Now comes mainstream adoption, as the Paper of Record raises Twitter stereotypes only to trash them, focusing instead on the power of the micromessaging medium for businesses:

By tapping into the world's collective brain, researchers of all kinds have found that if they make the effort to dig through the mundane comments, the live conversations offer an early glimpse into public sentiment -- and even help them shape it.