Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Custom Twitter groups

Mitch Owen at Lead2020 was reflecting on Twitter a few weeks back and suggested its real value was in keeping track of multiple and smaller social networks. Basically, he was asking about tracking particular nodes:
I have a small number of friends so far.. I am wondering what happens when your numbers increase. The structure of other ways I work seems to drive me to compartmentalize my friends into working groups. To share relvant information with certain groups so I do not overwhelm others with content. Still wondering about this one..

I rather enjoy Twitter, and have found it to be quite entertaining to follow lots of friends (and I use that word loosely as I don't know most of the people on my Twitter list), but on occasion the number of posts get so heavy that I miss the twits of my closest colleagues. So I fully undertand Mitch's concern if he were to add lots of friends to his Twitter list. Fortunately there are some pretty cool options available to address this issue.

I set out to remedy the problem by creating a Grazr widget to capture the feeds of a smaller, more select group of Twitterers. Here's my widget:

It took almost no time at all to get this running. I first created a feedbot at mySyndicaat by entering the syndication feed information for each of the people on Twitter I was wanting to track. You have several options using mySyndicate to set the time between polls. I set mine to every 15 minutes. Then I exported it as an OPML file, and imported that into Grazr.

To create the widget on Grazr is a very straight forward three step process. You just follow the instructions. The final step is to create a widget for your desired platform. I created two, the one you see on this page and another for my Netvibes homepage. In total it took me about 15 minutes to get this done, and I hadn't used mySyndicaat previously. I'd used Grazr once before but it had been several weeks ago.

This is a very simple use of Grazr. It has many more sophisticated options that I'm just beginning to explore. Very fun stuff.


Anonymous said...

If you haven't heard it, here is an interesting discussion of twitter, covering its uses and social aspects. Nothing dramatically new here... but still worth a listen if only to hear the different perspectives; those for whom new technology is always good, those for whom it is always bad, and the myriad voices in between.

Kevin Gamble said...

Thank you Bront! No I hadn't heard this. I stared to listen and it sounds very interesting. I've captured it and will listen to the rest of it on my long plane ride in the morning. Much appreciated!

Floyd Davenport said...


Interesting. I haven't used twitter yet... and given your nifty grazr feed, I wonder if I need to. I'm starting to think I can just lurk on yours. :) Scary huh?

Kevin Gamble said...

Nothing wrong with lurking at all Floyd, and your mention of it gives me several ideas. :)