Update: With recent Twitter API changes, the method described in this post is now deprecated. Sorry ‘bout that. Here’s the announcement from Twitter.
Twitter has opened its doors a bit more so that you can add its functionality to your website. Its @Anywhere platform allows you to integrate Twitter into your website. Yes, it was possible to add tweets and Twitter data before this but now there’s all sorts of new ways to use Twitter functionality including the hovercard user profile pop-ups that you see on the Twitter website.
This link, Clive Walker on Twitter, is an example. The Twitter call can automatically create links for any instances of the username in your text (if you choose to do this) and it will add the hovercard pop-up. In my case, I prefer to create the links myself and set-up the code so that only links with my class = "tweep" are selected. The Twitter username is required of course and this is parsed from the title attribute of the link; images can be linked in a similar way. With a slight variation in code, the username can also be obtained from the text of the link.
Of course this is a good thing for Twitter because it will spread Twitter across a wider spectrum of websites. However, since I am mentioning Twitter usernames more and more in blog posts, I reckon the pop-ups add something for me as well.
Twitter has a web interface but the immediacy of the service is kinda lost [and it’s pretty inconvenient] if you have to refresh the Twitter website every few minutes. Since joining Twitter I have tried out a few Twitter desktop clients that check the Twitter service automatically and display the results. Disappointingly, none of them lasted on my system for more than a few weeks. They either consumed loads of resources or simply did not work the way I wanted. That is, until now….
DestroyTwitter has an unusual name but it’s a great piece of software that works extremely well. I love it! Everything seems to be really well thought out even though the software is in beta at the moment. Some of the things I like are the theme choices that are available, the animated movement of panels [much better than the horizontal scrolling in some other Twitter clients], the TwitPic support [images open in the application], and the search and username autocomplete functions.
Great software IMHO.
I have not really said much about Twitter since I joined a few months ago. Overall, I have found it to be useful, entertaining, addictive, and it has helped keep me ‘in the loop’ much more than I expected. Here are a few of my experiences and thoughts so far.
I must admit I did not understand the Twitter thing at first. However, after seeing more and mentions on TV recently, I’ve decided to join and see what’s going on that I might be missing. Here I am. Sorry ‘bout the picture.
I suspect that I will be a bit of a lurker at first. Just to see what Twitter etiquette is. And also because most of my non-techno friends do not seem to have Twitter accounts. Oh well. I’ll be following people that I usually follow via RSS then.
Twitter is a website that has received quite a buzz. However, I must admit that it is not something that immediately says to me 'I must join'.
Twitter is a community of friends and strangers from around the world sending updates about moments in their lives. Friends near or far can use Twitter to remain somewhat close while far away. Curious people can make friends.
Hmmmm. Sounds like the potential for a lot of trivia. More excuses for text messaging. I guess it depends on what type of person you are. For me, I think I have enough to do without texting 'Off to the shops now'.
Perhaps I am not seeing the full picture here. I'm always a bit of a 'late adopter' though.