Some time back I wrote and then revised a piece on both my Twitter use and the power of Twitter as a machine for building knowledge through mutual or reciprocal curation – what perhaps we can designate a “reciprocal knowledge engine. ” Google just told me that it could not find the phrase, so it looks like it’s mine. Here’s the piece: http://nigelcameron.wordpress.com/future/why-twitter-matters/
I don’t really have a lot to add on that score; seems to me this medium/platform is pregnant with capacities to enable the building of cross-disciplinary, convergent knowledge, in a world defined by the data explosion of the exaclasm and the exponential need and opportunity for understanding – as a prelude, one would hope, to wisdom in decision-making in the face of global risk.
Point about Twitter, though, is that it is also many other things, and yesterday’s post discussing the proposal that our @ addresses serve as our personal universal locators is not without merit. Then again, it’s a source for every crowd one could wish, from flashmobs during demos to the nuclear flashmob that was unleashed on SOPA. And market research. And (another recent theme in this blog) C-Suite engagement with stakeholders. Of yes, and if you must, the Lady Gaga fan club and the PR people from our favorite pols. And on and on.
Which suggests: Twitter as a corporation or a brand may or may not have immortality. In general, businesses in this space are ageing fast (not good news for current valuations). A rival could pick it up, mess it up, close it down. Or, more likely, a nimbler, smarter, son-of-Twitter will emerge in 20 months’ time and we will all feel how MySpacey Twitter used to be.
But in all the social media melange, in Twitter we have lighted on something far more valuable than the other platforms, useful for particular purposes though they may be. It’s why many of the smartest people on the planet are spending serious time here every day of their lives. And (back to reciprocal knowledge) they are my research assistants. And I am one of theirs.