Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Juitter allows for refreshing Twitter search

During the SXSWi festival, the Statesman hosted the Texas Social Media Awards. It was the brainchild and culmination of months of work by Robert Quigley (@robquig and the voice of @statesman) and honored some 25 people who "get" social media.

As part of this, we had a wonderful party at Ballet Austin, catered by Austin's Opal Divine's and Sweet Leaf Tea. During the social time, we wanted to post an updating Twitter feed on a wall so we could see we could all watch and contribute to the "social" flow of the evening.

That's a long intro to introduce Juitter. This is a little JQuery app (pointed out to us by Stephanie Romanski) that searches the Twittersphere for hash tags and allows you to create a dynamic, self-updating page.

The end result was this page. I was able to put it together in about 30 minutes the day before the party. It took a little javascript know-how, but I'm *by far* no .js wizard or even proficient.

Now, this page doesn't really show off the power of Juitter anymore because no one is tweeting on the #tsma hashtag anymore. However, during the party it did flow along rather nicely. In fact, we started out with "sxsw" as the keyword, and since we were limited to showing 8 tweets at a time, it was too active ... it was difficult to keep up with the tweets before they cycled to the next set. But at the party several folks (@dan360man, @michellegreer, @elisewho) lobbied me to change the Juitter feed to the #tsma keyword, which I did with a quick edit of one of the .js files.

While I think Juitter is a cute little app, it should be totally unnecessary. The old Summize-now-bought-by-Twitter search page would be all we need if it would update with actual tweets instead of onlyh the note at the top saying how many additional entries have been added. Weird that it requires a page refresh.

During one of the SXSWi sessions (I think it was Wireframes for the Wicked) the presenters put up the page and then set their browser to automagically refresh every 30 seconds or so. It looked like they were using Safari, but I can't find the function in Safari 4 for PC. Pretty damn cool feature, though, and *much* easier than editing javascript files required for Juitter.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why Twitter wins (again) at SXSW

As SXSW Interactive was ending, I was thinking today why Twitter is so successful in a convention setting.

I didn't make it to the convention center until Saturday, the 2nd day, but I was struck by how awful the phone service was. It was hard to get a call out, and even hard to get SMS messages out, especially from within the conference rooms.

I found out later I wasn't alone in my frustration. AT&T admitted their cell service was slammed by the amount of usage in the area, and I'm not surprised considering the iPhone to BlackBerry ratio was about 10-to-1 (as was the Macbook-to-PC ratio. It was like a flippin' Apple commercial.)

On the other hand, Wi-Fi in the convention center was pretty good. Hallways were sometimes rough, but I rarely had problems getting connections when I was at a panel. I know many folks were relying on Twitter to communicate directly with peers instead of SMS.

But of course there are other reasons it was successful.

* Those panels that encouraged the use of hash tags allowed both those within and out of the panel to follow along easily. I use Tweetie on the iPhone, which has a decent search, so I was able to flip over and see what other folks were saying about particular panels, even if I wasn't following them. Some examples: #sxswid (For panel on OpenID, OAuth in Enterprise; #wickedwire (for panel on Wireframes for the Wicked, which did a good job taking questions from both Twitter and the audience microphone); #sxswomnt (Old Media New Tricks, the panel by @statesman's Robert Quigley and @colonelTribune Daniel Honigman.) #tsma (Texas Social Media Awards) which was a party/awards ceremony hosted by the Statesman.)

* Finding and meeting friends. This is really a no-brainer and really part of what always make the Twitter community cool, even outside of conventions, but it was really handy here. Lunch sessions and flash mob coffee's were set. Meetup locations changed based on crowd control and more.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Trade show Pano from SXSW

Panoramic iPhone app

This photo was taken at Sxsw interactive at a 10a panel on Sunday. I sent to it by emailing to blogger.

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