Before long the mainstream media had spotted that countless celebrities were taking time and effort on Twitter to reveal themselves every bit as witless as their PRs took time and effort to conceal.

But it was, perhaps, the Guardian's revelation last week of government plans to teach young children about new media tools, including Twitter and Wikipedia, that tipped the site into the mainstream consciousness.

"All new technologies hit this point," says Mike Butcher, editor of the new media blog Tech Crunch Europe, who has been using Twitter for almost three years. "You always have these old crusties who have been on it for a while, and then a generation of 'newbies' turn up as if it's something they have just invented." The scale of the exponential boom in Twitter's popularity, however, is "really unusual", he says. Far from killing off the site's popularity among early adopters, he argues that "the power of any network grows exponentially as the number of people using it grows." A world in which many more people are tweeting, and those tweets are fully searchable, would potentially allow a real-time search facility of "the consciousness of the planet".

Get the full story at the Guardian