Twitter is becoming an internet utility, or, why we live in the shtetl

Even in a big world, human impulse is to make it smaller.

Valleywag may make derisive snorts about the “250,” meaning the preening, self-congratulatory elitists they imagine as Silicon Valley’s blogging core, but the truth is that the early adaptor crowd is really global, not local, and there’s more like 3,500  of’ em.

Having just spent a week in Israel with a gaggle of geeks, all using EVDO cards to stay connected on the travel bus, I observed a couple of things that I hadn’t known before:

a) People from all over the world are talking to one another online, 24/7
b) Many of the people talking have formed strong ties and virtual communities.
c) Twitter is a key tool in supporting a & b, but blogs, friendfeed, IM, skype, email, and flickr all contribute as well.

During my week in Israel, I met folks, like the wonderful Orli Yakuel, who said she started techn blogging because of an influential blogger friend she’d met online, in the US; she and this person exchanged messages daily and had done so for a couple years.

At the same time, I saw Scoble, the most relentless and genial of bloggers, conduct conversations simultaneously with people all over the globe.

And I myself, of course, kept my my ties current and shared info daily with my friends and family in California, my business partner in Boston, and a whole gaggle of friends, family and colleagues in New York (and as I am now doing with a couple of people I met in Israel.)

The conclusion here, of course, is that it is human nature to make the world small.

Fueled by Twitter and skype, distances become smaller, discourses become more informal, and the global village gets larger, pulling us of us into the same virtual town.