Monday, March 02, 2009

How Twitter's spectacular growth is being driven by unexpected uses - Evan Willams at TED Talks

Just listened to Evan Williams, founder of Twitter, on TED Talks. In his 8-minute talk, he explained how Twitter was molded by how users used it instead of how the company designed it. Here are some highlights from the lecture:
  • Defined Twitter as "Say what you are doing in 140 characters or less. People who are interested in you get those updates. If they are REALLY interested in you, they will get those updates on their cell phones."
  • Twitter lets people share their lives - both the spectacular and mundane.
  • He didn't anticipate how important Twitter could be in real time events.
  • Information was shared during the San Diego fires.
  • There are currently over 2000 apps for twitter including one that allows an unborn baby to twitter when it kicks or a plant to twitter when it needs water.
  • Summize was a company that built a Twitter search engine. Williams liked the search engine so much that they bought the company.
  • Some people in Atlanta used Twitter to find gas when it was scarce.
  • People have raised tens of thousands of dollars for people in crisis over Twitter in a matter of days.
  • Don't know what will happen next with Twitter, but when you give people easier ways to share information - more good things will happen.
Would you believe that at the end of his talk, the MC of TED searched Twitter to find about 50 tweets about Evans' talk.

Here is a man who is changing the world with his imagination. He invented Blogger as well.

BTW, if you aren't watching/listening to TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks, you are missing an opportunity to listen to the greatest minds in the world.

Follow Dr. Z on Twitter at http://twitter.com/zeitz

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