Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
July 28, 2009 9:31 PM

Twitter Rooms For Sharing And Exploring

One of the major complaints that people have about Twitter is how hard it is to sort and follow certain people and conversations. There is a solution and it's not coming from the good folks at Twitter.

Yes, there are third-party stand-alone applications like TweetDeck which enable Twitter users to organize their feeds, group people together or do specific searches. This is a powerful and important application if you're highly engaged in the world of Twitter (you can read more about my unhealthy obsession with TweetDeck right here: TweetDeck - How Tweet It Is), but the challenge is when you want to follow a specific topic or group of people and you're not following those individuals and really would not know how to find them.

Enter Twitter Rooms.

Hugh McGuire (of LibriVox and The Book Oven) pointed out the Blog posting, New Project: TPM Twitter Rooms, from TPM (Talking Points Memo) which states: "Whatever else Twitter might be, we've found it a good way of to keep tabs on politicos and reporters, what they're doing, saying and so forth. Pols make unguarded or revealing statements, sometimes just helpful heads-ups on events or statements; reporters give early tips on stories. And just atmospherically you can get a feel for what certain groups of people are thinking and talking about. It's not perfect. Obviously, people know they're being listened to. But it's still a very useful tool. So with that in mind we set up a series of Twitter rooms that pull together the Twitter feeds of different groups. Here's the feeds for Elected Dems on Capitol Hill, Elected Republicans on Capitol Hill, Democratic and liberal insiders, Republican and conservative insiders and reporters and bloggers."

These Twitter Rooms are unique web pages that are aggregated feeds surrounding a topic or group of individuals that automatically update as new tweets from the pre-set group drop in stream. It reminds me of Muck Rack (more on that here: Following The News On Twitter With Muck Rack). More importantly, because Twitter uses an open API, anyone with a desire to create their own Twitter Room definitely can.

Be honest, wouldn't you love to have a Twitter Room with all of your favourite Digital Marketers? Or Podcasters? Or one for when SXSW is going on?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Zach Everson
    Mitch Joel

    How is a Twitter room any different from following a hash tag or creating a group via TweetDeck?

    Reply
  • Posted by TMM
    Mitch Joel

    I think it's different because it's easier to read.

    And yes, I think it would be cool to set up a Twitter room for many different topics.

    I can also think of some services and industries online that would love to have private rooms for twittering. (They already have those though I guess...)

    Reply
  • Posted by Bryan Person
    Mitch Joel

    Allow me to quibble over the name. I wouldn't call these aggregated tweets "rooms," because there's really no way for me to add my own comments and interact with other Twitterers around the topic.

    For the "rooms" metaphor, sites like TweetChat.com or Tweetworks.com are more appropriate. TweetChat allows you to enter a hashtag and just follow and respond to those specific tweets. Tweetworks allows you to create or follow along in a threaded discussion, with the option to also *not* send your posts back in Twitter. Both services are helpful and feel much more like "rooms" to me.

    But, I will agree that aggregated tweets around a certain theme or from a particular group of Twitters--elected Democrats on Capitol Hill, for example--can be useful.

    Bryan | @BryanPerson

    Reply
  • Posted by Hugh McGuire
    Mitch Joel

    @zach: following a hashtag follows specific topic, not a group of people.

    And it is exactly the same thing as following a group on Tweetdeck except:
    * TPM has sought out and selected the group for you (Washington journalists, Dem insders, Republican insiders)
    * They're curating & displaying the feed online, on the TPM site - outside Twitter - for those not on Twitter to follow.

    Reply
  • Posted by Bob Williams
    Mitch Joel

    If you have a single "room" that you want to follow then this seems OK. However, it doesn't scale well. If you want to follow multiple groups of people you would have to open a browser window for each one unless you started segmenting the page. When you do that it's the same principal as TweetDeck and other like tools.

    Reply
  • Posted by Ian Rountree
    Mitch Joel

    I think someone needs to convince Seth Godin to make this a module on Squidoo. Hashing the evolution of media seems like it's right up his alley - and Twitter is constantly evolving.

    Reply
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