Twitt er, the hottest new medium in the social media landscape, has historical roots in such successful short forms as graffiti, telegrams, and book blurbs. The transformation of all consumers of social media into consumer-producers has leveled the political playing field on Twitter, and the entertainment field as well, giving all Tweeters equal ability to converse with famous politicians and celebrities. As a written and multi-medium, Twitter has evolved much like the evolution of all media, starting with writing and pictures, and moving on to sounds and moving images, in the same way that phylogeny recapitulates ontogeny in living organisms. Also like the biological world, Twitter is increasingly interconnected with other online “organisms,” e.g., Facebook and YouTube, moving our world ever closer to a “noosphere” of the Earth as an interconnected consciousness. Further, Twitter and its descendant Foursquare are merging the real and virtual worlds, as GPS components of smart phones can tell anyone online where the user is located. Twitter also has a growing impact on the arts, leading to television sitcoms based on Tweets, novels created on Twitter, and new forms of documentaries made of short interviews. Media survive based on how well they satisfy a natural human need-which means the future of Twitter as a medium looks very promising.


art • evolution • Facebook • Foursquare • graffiti • McCain • McLuhan • noosphere • Palin • smartphones • telegraph • Twitter


  1. [web] Bierly, M / Your tweets are in the library of congress,PopWatch, EW.com

  2. [web] Blechman, R / Executive Severance (a novel)

  3. [book] Clarke,D / 2003 / Pro-Social and Anti-Social Behaviour / Routledge

  4. [web] / Facebook tried to buy Twitter for $500 million

  5. [web] Misty, H / Technological freedom comes with a price: Just ask Courtney Love, CalgaryHerald

  6. [book] Hawthorne, N / 1962 / House of the Seven Gables / Collier’s

  7. [other] Hudson, K / 2010 / e-mail to Paul Levinson

  8. [web] Hudson, K / Our Little Song: A Film about Tweeters, documentary (inproduction)

  9. [book] Innis,H / 1951 / The Bias of Communication / University of Toronto Press

  10. [thesis] Levinson,P / 1979 / Human Replay: A Theory of the Evolution of Media

  11. [book] Levinson,P / 1997 / The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution / Routledge

  12. [book] Levinson,P / 2003 / Realspace: The Fate of Physical Presence in the Digital Age, On and Off Planet / Routledge

  13. [book] Levinson,P / 2009 / New New Media / Pearson/Penguin

  14. [other] J. Fred Coots / 1931 / Love Letters in the Sand / popular song

  15. [book] McLuhan,M / 1962 / The Gutenberg Galaxy / Mentor

  16. [book] Marshack,A / 1972 / The Roots of Civilization / McGraw-Hill

  17. [web] Mitchell, J / Courtney Love Twitter Rampage Leads to‘Groundbreaking’ Lawsuit

  18. [other] / 2011 / Mother of All Something / US television sitcom series, CBS (in preparation)

  19. [other] Rushkoff, D / 2011 / interview on MSNBC-TV about the fate of Facebook

  20. [other] / 2010 / S#*! My Dad Says / U.S. television sitcom series, CBS

  21. [other] / 2011 / Shh... Don’t Tell Steve / US television sitcom series, CBS (in preparation)

  22. [web] Tate, R / How Twitter’s CEO ’Screwed Up in Many,Many, Many Ways’

  23. [web] Tate, R / Why CBS Bought Mommy’s Twitter

  24. [book] Teilhard de Chardin, P / 1959 / The Phenomenon of Man / Harper

  25. [other] Alan Crosland / 1927 / The Jazz Singer / movie

  26. [other] David Fincher / 2010 / The Social Network / movie