Letter from the editor: The phenomenon of Twitter

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The Independent Online

It was once dismissed as a symbol of the trivialisation of modern life.

Do we really want to know that Stephen Fry cut himself shaving this morning? Or that Fearne Cotton has just seen Bryan Ferry buying sausages at Waitrose? Or that Piers Morgan has less self awareness than Alan Sugar?

But, five years on, Twitter cannot be dismissed as a passing fancy. It now has 200 million users worldwide and the company itself is thought to be worth $10bn. News stories have been broken on Twitter - for instance, the next Royal Wedding was announced with a tweet - and now newsrooms throughout the world are using it as a vital information tool.

It can make and break reputations. It’s less of a fad, more a phenomenon. So, as a special extra for i readers today, we are publishing the Twitter 100, the first definitive guide to the most influential members of the Twitterati. It’s in the middle eight pages of the paper. The results are bound to surprise you - and you can always tweet us (@theipaper) to have your say.

On the subject of telling us what you think, David Toft spoke for many when he wrote yesterday: “I’m gutted. Where has the Word Wheel gone? Please bring it back or I will have to change papers!” By lunchtime yesterday, we were inundated with emails demanding the return of Word Wheel. The thing is, something had to give on the games page to get in a daily cryptic crossword (yes, you all wanted that, too). So Linda, our lovely, and patient, production editor thought the Word Wheel should go. Big mistake. Even as I write, she’s restoring the mighty wheel. How’s that for direct action? Keep writing (or tweeting)!

Read the full Twitter 100 list here