When Libyan rebels starting trying to take the capital, Tripoli, was the first time that I really got what so many people like about twitter. I saw a short blip about it on a blog that I read and started searching the major news sites for any stories about it, but could find nothing. I decided to try checking the #Libya hashtag on twitter.com. People on the tech blogs aren't kidding when they call it a fire hose of information. By the time I would read through the tweets I could see on a page, 20, 30, or 40 more had accumulated. It was a little bit overwhelming, but it was also awesome. There was a lot of junk to sift through, but there was also a lot of little pieces of information coming through. The Rebels had started their assault on Tripoli. They had taken some parts of the city and there was fighting going on in other parts. Gaddafi had not been captured yet. The crazy thing about it was that I was finding a lot of this information out in near realtime.
Before I had this experience, I had only understood Twitter as a fascination of other people. Millions of other people were using it and apparently finding it useful or entertaining. I never knew.