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 search.twitter.com 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.

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