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The Future of Social Media: Is a Tweet the New Size of a Thought?

The key part:

Most of the uses Twitter has been adapted to were already well-served by existing online tools — blogs, email, instant-messaging — and it’s not entirely obvious how the subcompact message lengths and other constraints of microblogging represent an improvement. Identifying Twitter’s comparative advantage, in other words — the compelling, real-world need that it alone among social media best fulfills — is hard. So hard that a recent blog post by legendary web-tech guru (and avid twitterer) Dave Winer all but conceded Twitter’s core appeal might remain forever shrouded in the ineffable. “There’s something there,” wrote Winer. “The challenge is to figure out what it is.”