Twitter's IPO Conjures Shining City on the Hill

Bob Pisani and Scott Cutler at the NYSE.
This morning's initial public offering of Twitter's common stock was brilliant in that it allowed a level of transparency that was sorely missed when Facebook debuted in May 2012. CNBC reporter Bob Pisani (@BobPisani) was at the post alongside the New York Stock Exchange's Scott Cutler (@CutlerScott) to allow a level of public access to an event that has long been shrouded in mystery. "Ten million at 35," barked the designated market maker from the pit through every TV tuned in to this historic event as NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer stood nearby Twitter CEO Dick Costolo (@dickc) so that the public was being informed alongside the investment community at the same time, which to me exemplifies what Twitter's all about.

I recall when events unfolded in Tahrir Square and later in Damascus as news organizations and citizens from around the world learned first-hand from eyewitness accounts via Twitter that this social media application had become a legitimate source for breaking news. It's ubiquitous, real-time dissemination of news quickly sparked conversations that led to actions and debates after being parsed through each individual medley of filters and follows. In my mind, it was then that Twitter became the tipping point of the information age by democratizing media and accelerating transparency faster than a bullet. From the starlet who "accidentally" uploads a nude selfie, to the frenzied rebels dragging their wounded to safety while under fire, the parameters of public access fell like the Berlin Wall leaving in its wake the question of not where, but will we ever draw the line again?

At the NYSE this morning, the public watched as Twitter's Costolo and Jack Dorsey walked among the ebullient crowd before positioning themselves on the floor below the dais of the opening bell where among the crew stood none other than Captain Jean-Luc Picard to lead this voyage into the next generation.

Cheryl Fiandaca, Vivienne Harr, Scott Cutler and Patrick Stewart ring opening bell at NYSE for Twitter.