Saturday, August 29, 2009

Twitscoop - signs of the times

I'm sure that many of you have already seen twitscoop before, so for you this won't be anything new. But, for others it might be. I just think it's such a VERY cool idea. It filters through the twitter stream looking for commonly used key words, eliminating the's and and's, etc. Then it forms a tag cloud with those words. But the cool part is that this tag cloud changes in front of your eyes as the conversation in the 'twitterverse' changes.

There have been a couple especially interesting twitscoops lately, and those folks have made youtube videos of them. Here's one that shows what happened the day that the new of Michael Jackson's death started to spread. Watch as his mention comes in very small (fewer mentions) and then grows as more folks spread the word. Here's another (part 1 and part 2) of the day when there was an earthquake and Tsunami in New Zealand, as well as a plane crash making the news.

Wouldn't this idea be excellent if somehow you could sign in and it would make a tag cloud based on what is being said only by those whom you follow? Wow. VERY nice - if it ever happens.

In the meantime, here's a little widget that they offer. It's not as cool as the one on their site, but pretty neat, nonetheless. Of course, depending on when you look at it, it may have references to people or things that you wish weren't there. (Another reason to limit it to just those you follow) Still, it's signs of the immediate times. A visual reminder of how information is being transmitted and gathered every second of every day.

How are we helping our students make sense of all this?



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