From Greg Verdino's blog -- an article about the deep-down similarities between Second Life and Twitter. On the surface there would seem to be none, but he makes some insightful comments about the core nature of social networking and what they have in common.
As marketers, business people and just plain old people, we need to look beyond the story ("hey everyone, shiny new thing here") to find the story behind the story ("we are staring into the eye of a significant new truth.") In the case of Second Life, the real story focused on SL as a peek into the 3D future of the web or a hint at the next wave of human-to-human interaction (don't think so? watch your kids in Webkinz or Club Penguin.) In the same vein, Twitter itself doesn't matter (at least it doesn't matter much.) What matters is the rising propensity of people to publicly share even the most minute details of their daily lives, the shift from the asynchonous connectivity of traditional social networking to the real time connectivity of presence, and the rising expectations among even a relatively small subset of consumers that everything from information to service to support to access can (and should) be delivered instantaneously. The real story lies somewhere in that rambling sentence, I think.