Last month Evan Williams, the founder of Twitter, returned to the stage at Ted exactly fours years after founding Odeo. Williams described how back in 2006 Jack Dorsey, one of the lead engineers at Odeo, came to him with a side idea he was playing with–Twitter. Williams was intrigued just as he had been intrigued a few years before with another hunch he had–Blogger. What both ideas have taught him is that it is important to follow your hunches even if they don’t seem to align with your current business.
During his Ted speech, Williams discussed that originally Twitter was intended to share moments of your life, both the momentus and the mundane, with family and friends. He has been surprised that Twitter has taken on a life of its own and is constantly evolving as users find even more interesting uses for Twitter. Back in the fall of 2007, Twitter took a big leap when it was used to broadcast news of the San Diego fires and then a year later was used by the hostages in India to give real time alerts of the terrorist attacks. Back in January, Twitter was again used to broadcast the pictures as they occurred of the miracle on the Hudson.
The talk is fascinating. Are you using Twitter in a new way?