The success of Twitter is hard to define, I place it in the realm of gossip and nosiness and just fun. It looks to be struggling under the load as numbers grow, every few days it gets really wonky, but people are still signing up.
Different behaviours are emerging; somewhere, someone started to use the @ sign to designate that they were replying to someone. Now, there is a way to direct message people, but when you do, it does not appear in your stream. Now the team at twitter have taken that behaviour and turned it into a feature. When you use @ and the persons user name, the system assumes you have responded to the person’s previous message and tags your twitter accordingly.
I like this, it helps people follow conversations if they are not ‘friends’ but primarily is a great example of the adaptive method of software development. See how people use the service, which is sometimes nothing at all like the original vision.
Meanwhile, I trying to find twitter visualisations. Here’s one from Tom Carden; are there more out there?