T(w)inkering

Now that the twitter hype is cooling down, and companies tart to realize that it is, in fact, just CB radio in a new asynchronous form, only the “true tweeps” still hang around. And now, it’s time to t(w)inker with it.

Early 2002, in my dad's old "shack", we measured the accuracy of a delayed solonoid triggering device I made.

Early 2002, in my dad's old "shack", we measured the accuracy of a delayed solonoid triggering device I made.

Some years ago, I did some playing around with CB radio. With my dad being an electronics engineer and a HAM radio operator, it didn’t take long before I got my HAM radio license, and start taking apart and putting together all kinds of electronics to play with this medium. We had quite some fun doing this, and I got a lot of great stories out of it.

With the coming of Twitter as the “new CB radio”, a new kind of tinkering came along. Not so much with electronics, but more with the data of twitter itself. Here are some of the funny and/or interesting services I found:

WARNING: Some of these services show you a very “Twitter like” login form, and ask you to sign in with your Twitter userid and password. Please think very careful about this. Giving somebody your twitter password can render your account useless, and exposes you to possible forms of identity theft. Except for twitpic, none of these services have ever seen my password.

Twitoaster
One of the problems with Twitter is that you don’t always see your conversations. People might only see one half of it, or because of it’s asynchronous character, miss essential tweets in a conversation. To solve this, Twitoaster searches your tweets, finds replies, and groups them together.

The downside is that you need to follow @twitoaster, which can ruin your “tweet stream”. Having said that, there are not much tweets coming from that account so maybe it won’t bother you that much. Although twitoaster.com shows you a login form, you are not required to log in for this service to work.

Xefer
If you like cool pictures made from your tweeting habbits, Xefer can do that for you. It will display an activity graph which shows you which days of the week and which hours of those days you are most active on Twitter.

Twitterank
Some mysterious algorithm places people in a list in a certain order, and calls it a “rank”. Now all of a sudden, people want to be on top. Isn’t that funny? The developer of this site had hacked some stuff together, and was soon overwhelmed by people wanting to know their “rank”. This is ofcourse just as silly as measuring your success by the number of followers you have.

At the time of this writing, my twitterrank is 14.26. According to twitterank, this score is higher than 37.68 of the other ranked twitterers. Not knowing what the algorithm is, and not knowing how to influence it, means this number is totally useless and silly. But hey, we like numbers… Yay twitterank!

Twitteranalyzer
Just another graphing thing to show you when you tweet the most, what words or hashtags you most commonly use, and what kind of clients you use. Nicely done, but not really compelling.

Tweetstats
One of my favourites, displays your usage info in nice simple colorful layout. While you are waiting, funny texts as “magic happening” and “there be feries” are shown on the progess bar.

Twanalyst
Twanalyst logoAlways fun to read and always changing (if you keep tweeting), this service reads all your tweets and takes a shot at estimating your personality from their contents. At the time of this writing, it thinks of me as “likeable sociable fair” and “garrulous coherent”. It sums it up as “Poet”. Ahem.

I you’re not tweeting enough, or there is something else this service thinks is wrong, it will give you some tweeting tips. Very funny. Don’t forget to check out the “suggest” feature, which will try to find people with a similar writing style youmight like following.

Hashtags
Tracks hashtags in the global timeline. With this service you can see people’s tweets grouped by tags. Very handy if you want to keep up with a particular subject. I personally use it to check followfriday tags every now and then.

Twitterposter
Shows you a cloud of twitter icons. The bigger the icon, the more followers this account has. The bad news is that it sometimes does not load all icons or avatars.

Final thoughts
There are many, many, many more twitter services out there, but you want to be careful with sharing your password. For example, Tweetmondo.com needs your twitter account password, just to tell you if there are “tweeps” close to your location? No thank you, Tweetie on my iPhone already does that.

Same goes for Localtweeps.com, which tries to match you and other local tweeps through your ZIP code. I never was even tempted to give them my password, because it’s developers seem to think that the world only consists of US, Canada and UK. Nothing to see here, move along…

If you have a twitter account which has enough data to make these services work, you are one of the luck few. An article on tech.yahoo.com shows that the top 10% of twitter users do 90% of the twittering. I hope they didn’t count those dumb automated tweets, because there are a lot of those…

It’s funny how companies still seem to think that they can just “connect to a network”, send us spam, and them expect we’ll like them. These companies are either loaded, or doomed, because in a few months, they might have to connect to a different network. Like Scoble said: “Networks don’t have people. People have networks.”

Have fun!

2 Responses to T(w)inkering

  1. rolfje says:

    Another nice one: Twitoria will show you accounts followed by you that are inactive:

    http://twitoria.com

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