[With apologies to Rod Stewart] You’ve heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Twitter, the new online social phenomenon, lets people tell their story – 140 characters at a time. But there are no pictures.
Now, there’s been a healthy debate about Twitter here at 901am. Duncan asked does Twitter have substance? David told us why he Twitters, Muhammad gave us a contrarian view, and Sharon suggested the top 5 ways smart people use Twitter. Twitter won’t replace blogs, yet it’s market share is up 55%.
Although I tried Twitter out, for me it’s more interesting to follow what others are saying than to offer my thoughts 140 characters at a time. And being the ultra geek that I am, I have more fun analyzing the content of social spaces than actually participating.
So I thought I’d mashup a Twitter feed and play with it. My first thought was to use a Yahoo Pipes pipe to replace the tiny amount of text in each Twitter message with a flickr image. Punk legend Henry Rollins‘ Twitter feed was my first try. While I like reading his feed, Pipes’ content analysis module didn’t produce enough variety in his Twittering to generate different flickr images. I tried Nick Wilson‘s Twitter feed (he who was a former co-owner of Performancing). Same problem.
It’s not that either is boring, just that Pipes’ content analysis and the available flickr images didn’t jibe with either’s Twittering. To get more variety, I used Twitter’s recent public updates, and voila, it worked. A very different type of time waster: a slice of flickr driven by Twittering, fueled by Yahoo Pipes: Every Twitterer Tells A Story (potentially NSFW). Though I couldn’t view it from my custom Teqlo feed reader.
Of course, the resulting flickr partition might be more interesting if the original Twitter message text were included. However, the Yahoo Pipes annotate module does not work properly when you try to view the images outside of Pipes builder interface.