Monday, December 28, 2009

The world in 140 characters

"The qualities that make Twitter seem inane and half-baked are what makes it so powerful". Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard law professor and Internet expert.

The so called "Twitter Revolution" has changed so many details of how people communicate and learn about what each other's doing, wants, hates, needs, bought, lost, about why they're sad or happy, or about the movie they just saw…

Twitter started as an online social network that many people seemed to not understand…For some it was too simple, it had no true practical use…The possibility of sharing messages of just 140 characters didn't seem that attractive or useful. But it didn't take so long to reach a point where the Twitter Revolution was declared by experts and then by many others.

The fact is that on Twitter you can actually know what's going on with almost any famous person that you want; for the first time you can know where your favorite artist is or what the most popular politician is doing to help a particular situation in a particular region…You can see what that actor you love is eating for dinner and you can share that with your friends.

But that's the simplest part of it. Twitter has surprised the world with so many unexpected and shocking moments that have changed the image of this online social network forever and that have opened so many possibilities through its tools.

One of the biggest examples, if not the biggest, happened this year with the Iranian elections, when hundreds of Iranians protested on the streets of Iran to express their nonconformity with the presidential elections, which they claimed as corrupted.

Twitter's role began when the government of Iran started to violently attack the protesters and to cut the media coverage of what was happening in the country. Some citizens started to communicate their situation to the world using Twitter because that way they couldn't be tracked.

That way the entire world found out about the situation of Iran and followed the facts through the Tweets. The United States government even intervened and asked Twitter directives to not stop what the Iranians where doing.

After that a lot of interesting uses have been given to Twitter. One of them was when the American author Matt Stewart published his complete first novel, "The French Revolution", through the 140-character Twitter messages, through Tweets.

Also, some months ago the American screenwriter of Pulp Fiction, Roger Avary, started communicating his experiences in jail from Twitter, surprising a lot of people and forcing the authorities to deny it was him because no one understood how he was managing to use an Internet connection…

Anyway, Twitter has definitely become one of the most used and important online social networks and communication channels, changing and revolutionizing the way the word learn about different events every day and the way different countries and cultures exchange information about the situations they live.

The words "Twitter", "Tweets" and "Tweet" are now part of the vocabulary of millions of people who have come to the point of, sometimes, preferring and choosing Tweeting over speaking.


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