I remember delivering a speech in 2008 during the early days of Twitter in which I mentioned to the audience that this platform may soon be the world’s largest sample of live human thought (good and evil) and also the world’s largest real-time conversation database. I heard a few chuckles. Back then Twitter was typically dismissed as some new time-wasting glorified chat where self-obsessed people shared what they were doing at any given moment (e.g. drinking coffee). A typical reaction people had to Twitter was “who cares?”.
Save for the horrendous disservice that I think promoted tweets have done by contaminating raw data-sets with non-organic data (at least through re-tweets), I think my statement has materialized quite well over the years.