Twitter reminds me of two things. Firstly, of "Eastern Standard Tribe", which I'm now reading very slowly. Twitter looks much closer to the chat features the tribesmen employ than IRC, although Doctorow clearly used IRC as the model. Secondly, it reminded me of the Issue 1 of Stevey's Tech News, which I heartily recommend to read — not just because it's Steve Yegge. Specifically, Twitter, being a RoR application, brings to mind Stevey's poking at RoR under the title "MyTube Having Growth Difficulties":
Ted Turner's highly anticipated MyTube™ social network for men is having sizing problems, according to media analysts. The new social networking site is Turner Broadcasting's answer to Oprah Winfrey's highly acclaimed and successful Oxygen television network aimed at young women. Unfortunately, MyTube, which is implemented entirely in Ruby on Rails, is hitting a scaling barrier at peak usage hours, which are reportedly between midnight and 2am PST. An insider at MyTube tells us confidentially that they get up to 100 users before the system slows to a crawl, causing bored users to delete random files from their servers by requesting well-formed URLs like http://mytube.com/database/delete and http://mytube.com/debugger/start. "It's just so rude", MyTube engineers were overheard saying in their Atlanta office. "Some of our users are just plain wankers."
JBTW, Stevey's jab at Microsoft is not funny at all, while the above stuff made me laugh my headache off.