Saturday, June 21, 2008

Small Worlds Arts and Humanities Sub-Committee Meeting 18.06.08

Small world networks The Small Worlds Arts and Humanities Sub-Committee (me and Alex) met at Small World Headquarters (DWL coffeeshop) and talked about our planned pincer movement across the UoL campus. The regiments commanded by General Moseley will infiltrate from the south and west while the troops under the command of Field Marshall Cann will move in from the east and north. When it's all over, we'll meet in the middle, around teatime.

Among the things we talked about were online identities (real and imaginary) and Twitter evangelism, and we both agreed that network building and noise control are critical in the early days of the Twitter experience.

Then Alex came up with the brilliant idea of making up imaginary Twitter exemplars for newbies to follow which would give them just what they needed in terms of traffic while they were network building - not totally unlike the "imaginary friends" capacity in Friendfeed. The idea involves aggregating selected RSS feeds and tweets from carefully selected people via Friendfeed rooms, then taking the RSS from the room and dropping it into a dedicated Twitter account using twitterfeed.

The volume and content of information is critical to the early Twitter experience, so academic disciplines may be the ideal unit of size for this, i.e. one for biologists, one for medics, one for engineers, etc. Here's a quick UoL one I knocked up to give you the idea:

Friendfeed room -> RSS output -> Twitter

Update: The Summize search seems to be generating a lot of noise in the Twitter feed, so maybe we'd better go with Alex's idea of paying some munchkins to post items manually. JayJay - your official rank in the Small Worlds Army is now "Munchkin" ;p)

Update2: Big Oops! The Summize -> Friendfeed -> Twitter cycle created a loop which constantly repeated itself. Oops! I've shut down the Friendfeed room (turns out you can't delete a FF room, so I just renamed it with a random string), but the Twitter account is still there if we want to use it.