Twitter LogoIt seems lately that on almost a weekly basis I get asked or overhear someone talking about how they don’t understand what the all fuss is about Twitter.

At first Glance, this is a rather obvious and understandable statement.  After all, what can you REALLY do with 140 characters?  Just take a look at this article on CNN Money as a perfect example of this mis-understanding.

The problem is that people are viewing Twitter at face value… a free, easy to use service that asks the simple question – “What are you doing?” – in 140 characters or less.

But wait… did you catch that?  Those four little words in the previous sentence:

“What are you doing?”

In other words, what are you doing RIGHT NOW.  What is happening AS WE SPEAK.

You see, Twitter is significant because it’s the first real-world implementation of the Real-Time Web.  It allows people to see what is going on in the world while it is happening.  Not hours later during the evening news, not when the paper comes out tomorrow morning, or even after a blogger writes a story about it… it’s happening right now.

The 140 character limitation actually adds to its success in this field.  It keeps the message short and quick…

“Earthquake in LA… walls are rattling, but it seems like it’s subsiding”

Sure, most “Tweets” are pretty boring… I mean, who really cares what you’re eating for lunch, or what you think of the movie you’re currently watching… or, maybe they do?

If you’re a restaurant owner, you can get instant feedback from people while they’re eating their food.  If you’re in line to buy tickets to a movie, you can find out what other people thought of it while they’re watching.  Or, in more recent current events… View reports of beatings during the Iranian protests.

Twitter as a company itself, like most companies, probably won’t be around forever.  But what it represents is a sea change for the web and how we communicate.  You’ve already begun to see how this is changing the way we communicate and do business.

Not since Google has another company changed the landscape of the web like Twitter has.  So, the question is… What are you doing?