Crowdstatus and filtered twitter


In my Twitter stream I saw that Dan Taylor had created a crowdstatus page for BBC people. Crowdstatus basically takes public Twitter streams and compiles them on a page with some nice graphics. I had a go and did the same for OU people I know on Twitter (if I’ve missed anyone off, let me know, or if in fact you’re not an OU person and I’ve put you in).

Firstly, a couple of things in crowdstatus I’d like: the ability for anyone to move the order around; automatic refreshing; can anyone join a crowd, or can only the originator add them in?; the option to have most recent updates near the top; an RSS link; an iGoogle plug in (that’s it for now).

Next on to the broader aspects. I like this because subsumed in my Twitter followers are a number of different networks. Even within my OU people there are OU Staff, IET, Students, etc as sub-networks. So it is good to be able to filter these. And this then really opens up the potential for community building or even (whisper it) knowledge management by Twitter.

For example, you get all your students to sign up to Twitter and then create a crowdstatus page for them. You can see how this filter of other Twitterers and aggregation in one space adds a social/peer working element to the course which could be quite powerful. And when the course has ended, it still persists (or goes in to the course alumni crowdstatus page).

Another example, everyone I work with in IET signs up to Twitter, and I create a crowdstatus for them. Then when we move into our swanky new open-plan office building, the wall mounted networked screens display the crowdstatus page. When you’re making a cup of tea then you will notice that X is in a conference in Valencia, Y is struggling to write a JISC bid and Z is mowing the lawn. By osmosis almost you would have a better understanding of what your colleagues are up to and interested in than any number of scheduled meetings. It’s the future of organisational dialogue I tell you!


  • Scott O'Raw

    Hi Martin,
    I’ve been thinking about your idea for displaying a Crowdstatus page on a screen in your new office. I wondered if you had seen Daniel Dura’s Twittercamp ( or had looked at the SWX PHP format ( for Flash as both of these would probably be more suitable for this idea.
    I realise that this idea was probably just put together to demonstrate a use for Crowdstatus but just thought I’d add a couple of other approaches to this hypothetical!
    P.S. I covered Crowdstatus on my own blog and referenced this post but I wasn’t sure if you were pulling in trackbacks or not.

  • Martin

    Hi Scott, yes I saw your post. Thanks, I hadn’t seen Twittercamp, as you say it might be a better bet. It would be nice to combine that with Tweetclouds, so you get a visual representations of what people are talking about too.

  • Tony Hirst

    So why not just have a tweetroll and then use it to feed whatever services you like. e.g. it took all of, I dunno, 30s to drag your and AJ’s feeds into a new opml feed in my grazr sidebar widget, and use that in an opmldashboard display:
    (if you want nice css, the opmldashboard is a good reason to learn…)
    Grazr are offering some sort of streaming service too, now, with optional filters, though i’m not sure if their widgets are autorefreshing yet?

  • Tony Hirst

    any chance that iet could get a couple of screens running with something like a customised twittercamp for the curriculum conference?
    This might also be something for the berrill – eg to show on the screen in between talks/at the beginning and end of sessions as people stream in and out of the lecture theatre?

  • Manish

    Only yesterday was I thinking about these multiple networks you mention. It is true and I was hoping that somthing like this came up. I wanted to have seperate networks for each sub network that I be a part of. I am a student, a supervisor , a lecturer etc and if all my students join my network then I will start to loose somany tweets.
    I like the idea and would give it a try.
    However, will this mean that I have to check seperate networks ?
    As I concluded yesterday that if this is going to be the case then the whole point of the network is defeated. Does this site makes it easy to segregate sub networks and yet assimilate tweets from them in a unique way that is useful? I would prefer it this way.Will find out

  • Martin

    Hi Manish, no it’s not that sophisticated, it’s just taking the twitterers you put in and displaying them, so you’d need to check multiple places. I think there is a level of sophistication to be added on to twitter now that people will start to want.

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