Archive - Jun 12, 2009

Twitter Wordles

Recently, Tamela left a comment on my blog post twitterwordle blog post asking if I was selling the program that I used to create my twitterwordle image.

It is a simple PHP program and instead of selling it, I figured I'd just post it here. In addition, I've set it up on my server so you can access run it (providing I don't run out of bandwidth or access).

To run it, go to

Put in the Twitter name instead of 'example' to get the statuses of the friends for whomever's name you enter.


$u = $_REQUEST["user"];
$page = 1;

while(1) {
  curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
  $xmlstr = curl_exec($ch);

  try {
  $xml = new SimpleXMLElement($xmlstr);
  } catch (Exception $e) {

  $i = 0;
  $uname = $xml->user[$i]->name;
  if ($uname == '') exit;
  while($uname != '') {
    $status = $xml->user[$i]->status->text;
    print $uname . " : " . $status . "<br>\n";
    $i = $i + 1;
    $uname = $xml->user[$i]->name;
  $page = $page + 1;
(Categories: )

Twitter Friend Status

To get the status of a friend enter

(Categories: )

The Death of Twitter

Today, I saw two reports presenting very different views on the imminent death of Twitter. The first is from people noting that sites like are reporting Twitter’s growth was essentially flat. The second is that soon, Twitter will pass two to the thirty-first tweets, which is the largest signed integer. Anyone who is storing information about tweets using signed integers is likely to crash sometime on Saturday.

It was just seven months ago that Twitter passed its billionth tweet. So, is Twitter really slowing down, or is there something else going on? Looking at sites that track the number of visits to the Twitter Website, it does appear to be slowing down. However, as people start following more and more people, keeping track of tweets on Twitter becomes more and more difficult, and people start using tools like Tweetdeck, Seesmic and PeopleBrowsr. Looking at traffic on these sites can also be misleading as people download applications to view their tweets.

So, what can the impending Twitpocalypse tell us? Looking at the number of Tweets per day, the trend is still up, sharply, even during the ‘flat’ month of May.

Tweets per day, originally uploaded by Aldon.

This illustrates one of the problems with metrics in a Web 2.0 world. Page impressions, and all the metrics around page impressions mean less and less. With Web 2.0, information from one site is displayed on other sites, and what you need to look at is the underlying API traffic, sort of like the number of Tweets per day.

From the bigger picture, I believe that we are seeing just another example of what goes on with technology adoption. Back in 2007, I wrote about a reporter at ad:tech who “was surprised to hear that twitter was still around and active”. In my blog post about the Technology Adoption Curves and the Twitter Lifecycle I commented, “As the innovators go out and try to convince people of a really cool new technology, and the early adopters start piling on, the laggards hear about this and try to convince everyone else that there isn’t really any value to the cool new technology.”

A group psychologist, who isn’t on Twitter yet, as far as I know, was commenting about Twitter on a mailing list and suggested as a tweet from him, “Adapting and resisting – two sides of the same coin”. Perhaps that sums up some of the discussion about the death of Twitter in less than 140 characters.

Over the coming months, I am sure that we’ll see many more blog posts about Twitter’s demise. They are likely to be partly right. What we see as Twitter today and the realtime microblogging of the future may look considerably different.

Likewise, I suspect that people that said that horseless carriages were a passing trend were right. The model T looks considerably different from today’s hybrids.

(Originally published at DigidayDaily.)

#followfriday #afn

@ericawilliamsdc @SenSherrodBrown @lessig @daviddonnelly @robertgreenwald @mrdaveyd

Last week, for my weekly FollowFriday blog post, which gets cross posted to Twitter, I highlighted people that I met with at the America’s Future Now conference in Washington, DC. Most of the people from last week were people that I got into discussions with. For me, that is an important part of Twitter. This week, I’ll highlight people that have something important to say that I don’t know as well and are less likely to get into a conversation with.

Starting off the list is @ericawilliamsdc, Erica Williams. She is the Deputy Director and Policy and Advocacy Manager at Campus Progress. She was one of the best speakers at the conference, a powerful authentic voice. She quoted Hemingway, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places”.

@SenSherrodBrown, United States Senator from Ohio also spoke at AFN and announced he would be on Twitter. So far, he hasn’t updated much. Perhaps he needs to take lessons from Sen. Claire McCaskill, @clairecmc or @senchrisdodd

If you aren’t following Lawrence Lessig, @lessig on Twitter, as well on his blog, in his books, and so on, you should be. Whether you are concerned with Creative Commons, the Remix culture, or Fair Elections. Prof. Lessig is a voice to listen to.

@daviddonnelly is the National Campaigns Director for the Public Campaign Action Fund, and if you like what Prof. Lessig has to say about clean elections, then you want to follow what Mr. Donnelly is doing to help bring them about.

@robertgreenwald is the founder of Brave New Films, @bravenewfilms They use new media and internet video campaigns to very effectively get their message out.

@mrdaveyd I first heard about Mr. Davey D at the National Conference on Media Reform in Memphis back in 2007. Van Jones commented that we need Davey D on the FCC and called him ‘a hip-hop historian of the first order’.

So, that’s my list for #followfriday on June