From ridiculous to essential: the history of Twitter

My Observer piece about Twitter.

“When a true genius appears in the world”, wrote Jonathan Swift, “you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him”. Thus it was in July 2006 when Twitter appeared. It was a “microblogging” service that allowed one to broadcast one’s thoughts to the world, on one condition: that they should be expressible in not more than 140 characters.

I thought it was a work of genius the first moment I laid eyes on it.

But most normal people, and not a few of my friends, thought otherwise…