Thursday, May 22, 2008

Twitter mash-ups

I am amazed how functional Twitter is, and how many little sites are popping up to take advantage of the TwitterSphere. (or is it TwitterVerse? Whatever....) Two are from the creative mind of Damon Clinkscales, a colleague who's been in Austin for many years, and is very active in Austin on Rails. Those two sites are SnapTweet and DoesFollow.

SnapTweet is truly addictive. It has all the goodness of flickr, added to Twitter, stirred together to make a yummy fajita. Here's how it works. You have a flickr account, right? You're taking photos of your life, work, entertainment, or vacations and putting them out there for the world to see. So, how to you get folks to look? Send a link via Twitter, right? Here's how the process used to work:

1) Take picture.
2) Upload to flickr.
3) Grab the URL of the picture.
4) Paste URL into Twitter.
5) Raelize that the title and the URL are longer than 140 characters.
6) Go back to flickr, get a tinyURL of picture.
7) Tweet it.

Yeah, you've done it, haven't you? Now try this:
1) Log in to Snaptweet with your Twitter and Flickr account names.
2) Choose a tag you want to use. (Default is "snaptweet")
3) Post picture.
4) Tag it with "snaptweet."
5) There is no step 5, 6, or 7 - and you only have to do steps 1 & 2 once.

So, suddenly your twitter feed starts to be populated with items like this: Rain clouds at sunset -

You can also just send a direct message to @snaptweet and it'll post your latest flickr upload with the title as the message. Way cool. This is the essense of Twitter - sharing events in your life with those who wish to follow you, with the least effort.

Getting a little geekier, you may want to check the "friend status" of someone you're thinking of following. Doesfollow can help. Remember, Twitter traffic is your decision. If you follow everyone, your feed will be quite busy, and you'll feel like you're being spammed. This is lunacy (unless you want that feeling of constant information!) If you see a few tweets from someone in a friends queue and wonder if that person follows or is followed by someone else, if can be a real pain to slog through the large list of some Twitter users. Damon has created a simple tool that answers quickly whether one user is following another. Simply enter their names in the correct order, and you'll get a "Yep!" or a "Nope!" (I mentioned he lives in Texas, right?) Very clean, simple, fast and easy tool to see how some of your friends relate. Give it a try.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the writeup, Smythe!

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