The good news about having to abruptly leave a conversation is that you keep pondering the unfinished thought. For me, that conversation was Tuesday’s hashtagsocialmedia tweetchat, organized by Marc Meyer and moderated by Jason Falls.

The topic was Twitter and, when I cut out, people were having a vigorous discussion around Twitter’s value to business. I’d offered two key values for me: the ability to crowdsource quickly and globally; and ambient discovery (of people, information, and ideas). But I left something out, and it’s really important.

Web 1.0 led to data democratization. One consequence is that small businesses, including mine, finally had access to a lot of information that previously was only available (without a long lag time) to organizations with deep pockets. The amount of information was minute compared to what we see stream by on Twitter every minute–but it was the starting point.

Now Web 2.0 is leading to the democratization of access, as people can identify, reach out, and talk to everyone from athletes to rock stars to CEOs. Twitter’s helping to facilitate that.

What do you think: Are data and access leveling the playing field? How can you use these to transform your business?

Photo by biblioteekje (Flickr).