From Business Week:
Someone said, “Technology does not deliver as much as you expect in the beginning, and in the end delivers more than you expect.”
It’s become trite to say that technology has reduced the distance between people—it’s eliminated the barriers of time and geography, for example. But I think that on Twitter that distance has been so collapsed that all these other artificial barriers to communication are eroded, like the barriers of socioeconomic status, or celebrity. So you’ll see these conversations emerge on Twitter like the Canadian hip-hop artist Drake tweeting something like “The first million is the hardest,” and T. Boone Pickens replying, “Drake, the first billion is a hell of a lot harder.” You would never see that kind of conversation in any public forum before.
How is it being used in this election?
Both sides of the aisle recognize that the campaign is happening in real time. It’s no longer the case that the campaign can analyze tonight’s debates, go out and poll, and then issue a press release tomorrow. They have to do that right away because people are on Twitter reacting to it as it happens.
What are the implications of that over the long run?
Well, I think there can be a tendency to miscategorize that as, “Well, people aren’t paying deeply thoughtful attention to things anymore, and they’re just reacting off the cuff.” I don’t think it’s necessarily the case that the two go hand in hand. For example, you can follow Salman Rushdie on Twitter. You can have a conversation with Salman Rushdie, and he can be talking to Margaret Atwood.
Is 140 characters here to stay?
It’s sacrosanct. Yeah. There’s something about it that works. It’s magic. We’ll leave it at that.
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