When observing the homepage of Twitter, I quickly realized that the popular keywords were like a microcosm of what is going on in the world at any particular time, specifically in the world of entertainment and sports (but, maybe that is just because of the Winter Olympics happening in Vancouver for the past two weeks or so). Terms like “Swiss” and “ice dancing” were some keywords associated with the Olympics that I particularly noticed. I personally feel as though most people tweet when something surprising or unexpected occurs, whether it be sports, entertainment, politics, or the like. Anytime something big in the news occurs, it often ends up as a topic of discussion on Twitter.
When looking for a topic that seemed to be political in some ways, the closest term I could come up with was “BRITs.” What I found when I read a couple entries was that apparently a show aired on television about people from Britain and their work ethic compared to nationalities. People who commented had a host of different opinions about whether they felt that the British were depicted fairly or not in the documentary.
What this tells me is that Twitter serves as a sounding board for people to comment on anything and everything that they want in a straightforward way. The type of political discourse that Twitter gravitates toward is one that is opinionated but that also allows freedom to individuals who just want to have a say in what is going on around them. All in all, I think that this can serve as a positive thing for the future.
As far as the character limit is concerned, it serves as a distinguishing factor between itself and other social sites like a Facebook or Myspace. It constrains people to be short and sweet with their entries, but at the same time people often would rather read a couple sentences rather than pages…to me the limit is both a creative and smart move for the site!