For one brief, shining moment

Twitter is at its best right now.

An odd and wonderful little web-based application, Twitter allows you to follow your friends and be followed (or not) by others. What you see are the comments of people you want to hear from. And those comments are limited to 140 characters, making it an enviroment that favors the informed, the playful, and the articulate.

While there are Twitter users who want to follow or be followed by hundreds of people for marketing reasons, the majority of Twitter users seem to be viewing fewer than 100 people. In my case, I’m following about 40 friends, another 20 friends of those friends, and a dozen or so people who are either famous or interesting.

Twitter isn’t for everyone, at least not at the moment—and that’s a big part of its current charm. No one is talking about celebrities, few people are trash talking, and when someone complains about have to block “spammers,” all they’re referring to are some thick-skinned over-energetic social networking types who who’ve deluded themselves into thinking people want to hear about some “me-too” app their clients’ have developed.

Currently, Twitter has no ads, no deafening MySpace music clips, and no annoying pop-ups.

It’s all wonderfully reminiscent of the early days of the World Wide Web, and the early days of blogging. And it’s attracting some of the same people.

If this sort of thing interests you, I encourage you to check out Twitter now. If you wait, and it jumps the shark, you’ll wonder what on earth the attraction was.

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