I don’t tweet.
However, like much else on the web, once the idea is out there, people have taken it and run with it. A round-up article from Wired discusses some of the interesting ways people have hacked the service, from a washing machine that tweets when its cycle is over, to house plants that tweet begging to be watered, to a fellow who can turn on his lights from his cell phone by tweeting his house.
An excavation/site/monument that tweeted if visited/disturbed after visiting hours? Hmm.
I also quite liked a related story where Vik Singh of Yahoo! created a mashup that searches tweets for breaking news:
TweetNews takes Yahoo’s news results and compares them to emerging topics on Twitter, in effect using what’s most popular on Twitter as an index for determining the importance of news stories.
In other words, TweetNews uses Twitter to rank stories that are so new they may not have enough inbound links for algorithm-based ranking systems to prioritize them.
The result is a search engine mashup that tracks breaking news stories ranked by Twitter search results, offering faster updates, better relevance and more in-depth coverage than either source by itself.
In a blog post explaining the ideas behind TweetNews, Singh outlines the frustration many felt when searching for news on the Mumbai attacks: “Twitter messages were providing incredible focus on the important subtopics that had yet to become popular in the traditional media… what I found most interesting… was that news articles did exist on these topics, but just weren’t valued highly enough yet.”
So, here’s the TweetNews on Archaeology; and for those who have trouble with dipthongs, the TweetNews on Archeology . We have archaeological blog aggregators… should we be aggregating tweets too? Do you tweet? Why, and how can you extend it to something bigger/better?
The original post describing how the service works – and the source code!! – is here. Vingh concludes:
There’s something very interesting here … Twitter as a ranking signal for search freshness may prove to be very useful if constructed properly. Definitely deserves more exploration – hence this service, which took < 100 lines of code to represent all the search logic thanks to Yahoo! BOSS, Twitter’s API, and the BOSS Mashup Framework.
Results of my TweetNews search this morning:
At Nimrud, decay is accelerating for 3,000 years of history.
1 Related Tweets
@NevadaSlim thanks :) No, I have a PhD in Ancient History and Archaeology.
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