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For Your Next Plasma Screen Enabled Event

I am in danger of become a twitter centric fool. While others have identified it as having jumping the tuna, my own volume of twitter contact notices (must admit, I don’t add them all) has spiked significantly. Here in Arizona, I’d say Twitter has Jumped the Gila Monster.

Another cool tool…

TwitterCamp is a free app that allows you to create a giant (or not so giant) screen representing a fluid display of Twitter activity:

TwitterCamp is a desktop application that allows you to monitor tweets from your friends using the popular Twitter service. The application was built for the ApolloCamp mini-conference and uses the recently released Apollo runtime alpha and Twitter API. The application is especially suited for running on large displays such as plasmas, LCDs, and projectors at conferences. It is simple to customize the interface so that you can use the application for your conference.

I downloaded the Apollo run time the ApolloCamp app, and instantly had a cool screen with tweets form my contacts:


I can see having something like this available at meetings, conferences, tech demos as yet another way to show dynamic social tech in action. Roll in another big screen for twittervision. Next is to look for closely at the options for customization.

Until know, I’ve not been paying attention to Apollo, but its got my ears perked up now. Small desktop apps, cross platform, web enabled…

Very cool. Linktribution to Tim Lauer (again!)

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. This may come across a little negative but it’s really motivated by curiousity:

    I saw your Sierraesque slide, I haven’t twittered, I don’t see the attraction at all, I don’t see the value in it; personally or as a tool I can use with students.

    I have something of a public presence vis a vis my blog but I am nonetheless a fairly private person. I can’t see that anyone would like to know that I’m drinking tea (Earl Grey) as I write this nor do I have the time to go to the computer to type in the minutiae of my daily life as I going about living it.

    Twitter is more then sprinkled across the blogosphere, it’s taking root. So tell me, what am I missing? What’s the attraction? How can it make a difference in the way I learn or teach or, more importantly, how my students learn?

    Again, I don’t mean to sound critical, but I just don’t get what the deal is about twitter. I respect your opinion, and your well developed eye for seeing educational uses of tools that few others do. Tell me Alan, what am I missing here?

  2. Alan,

    Andy Rush had mentioned the possibility of using twitter at UMW’s Faculty Academy as a running back channel, place for comments, notes, etc. This giant image effect might be a great way to re-present the activity after the fact. You’re twitter talk for SPLJ 2.0 would make an excellent quick and dirty overview along with a brief tutorial (where I think the ITSs would be willing to pitch in) early on in the conference. After which, we might be able to have a more thorough return to twitter and its effects over a two day period of intense conferencing. Having everyone on twitter might be a heck of a lot easier than live blogging the conference, and the possibilities for re-presenting the process at the end of the process seems promising as you demonstrate here.

    Obviously Martha and Gardner may have bigger and better plans for you, but this might be something we can slip in quick and easy.

  3. Jim and Alan, I think using this twitter mashup in the context of a conference/presentation is brilliant. Now that I think about it some more, with a projector or smartboard in a classroom we could use twitter to get live feedback from students as the lesson is progressing. This twitter mashup has great potential in any learning environment. I get that. What I don’t get is twittering without this mash up. I still have the same questions I asked earlier.


  4. Darren–

    I cannot give you a bulleted list of compelling reasons to be twittering, nor is there a direct big button that reads, “Click Here for Educational Application of this Tool.” But your reaction is no different from mine when I heard about it. nor many others, at the sheer folly of what looked like wasting time telling other people your mundane activities.

    It changed when I dipped a toe in, but although I’ve been writing a lot about twitter, I’m not ready to see it is the next Big Thing.

    But there’s energy there, and that is what I am interested in.

    But my experience has always been- you cannot really talk about the game of ed tech as a spectator. So if you strip away the notion that it is people talking about the trivia doings in their life, you see:

    * It is a focused applciation- it mainly does one thing.
    * It is free to use
    * It provides multiple ways to put content in- phone, IM, web, 3rd party apps
    * It has different ways to use content outside of the system – badges, javascriupt, plugins for apps like WordPress
    * It generates RSS
    * It has an open API that other developers can use to create new apps
    * it is an environment the user shapes, by selecting the people they follow, and by personalizing the interface
    * It is intensely socila- not in the party party party sense, but that there is a sense of energy that increases with the number of contacts.

    I see the stuff I scan as regular updates from mostly colleagues I am interested in knowing what they are doing. Many of them are ones that have a plugin that auto publishes a tweet with a new nlog post.

    So it acts in a way like RSS for quick updates.

    The signs I find important/interesting:
    * I am learning resources, projects I would not have gotten from my other channels, such as learning of Vicki Davis’ horizon project
    * Speaking of which, see how on that project site, the international teams are using it to update their work on their wikipsaces pages
    * a library auto publishing RSS to a twitter account
    * people using it to collaboratively microblog at a conference- less intense than writing blog posts, but creating a public record (as opposed to IM)

    I don’t see it supplanting blogging, nor do I see it really “rooted” anywhere yet. I do see potential, but am not ready to raise the flag and say this is the Big Thing.

    And its intoxicating fun.

  5. I’m a Jaiku fool so please check it out. It fixes four things that typically happen in the beginning of a phone conversation:

    – can you talk/are you busy?
    – where are you?
    – who is with you?
    – what are you doing?

    Unlike twitter, it is not flooding your SMS but operates on the background whenever you like.

    Combined with Plazes it’s a great tool for broadcasting your presence.

  6. Thanks Alan,

    “you cannot really talk about the game of ed tech as a spectator”

    Quite right, I guess I ought to “dip a toe in” before deciding it’s not for me.

    Thanks for taking the time for such a thorough reply … that was a pretty good bulleted list. ;-)


  7. Alan,

    I’m becoming more and more of a fan of Twitter and Jaiku — I might end up running both as permanent additions to my open windows. Twitter’s easier and more friendlier to use — but I love the ability to put all of my RSS feeds into one place for folks, as well as the ability to see others’ collections in semi-real time (the lag in updating feeds at Jaiku is a little longer than I’d like.) The best thing going for Jaiku, though, is the ability to comment to folks’ postings. That comes in handy.

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