Meeting the geek behind TwitterVision

It’s interesting that out of a crowd of more than 1,000 at Jeff Pulver’s big party last night that the Twitter’ers find each other pretty quickly and easily. At one point a guy came up to me and asked if I was Robert Scoble, then introduced himself as “I wrote TwitterVision.” It was David Troy.

He’s been amazed at the response to it. He’s gotten emails from all over the world. It went up Sunday. He wrote it in four hours using Ruby on Rails. People have been telling him it’s the most addictive thing they’ve seen lately. He finds that almost scary. But, I told him I am probably going to buy a third monitor just to display TwitterVision. It’s just so cool to see Twitters in real time from around the world displayed on a moving Google map.

Anyway, it was fun to hear how he built it. I told him that he should add Starbucks icons randomly in between Twitters. That would freak people out. Thankfully he graciously declined to do that.

If you’re on Twitter you can tell Twitter your location by sending a message with “L:” in it. After the L: you should include your zip code or some other location information that Google Maps will understand. I did L:94019 since that’s my zip code. You’ll see my Twitter messages popup from Half Moon Bay, CA.

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Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. I just loaded twittervision for the first time and I can see how it can be addictive. I already sat for a few minutes just watching the map move around :)

  2. I just loaded twittervision for the first time and I can see how it can be addictive. I already sat for a few minutes just watching the map move around :)

  3. Just tested TwitterVision too (also for the first time).

    It was cool seeing the globe scroll all the way to Lilongwe, Malawi after I twitted ;)

  4. Just tested TwitterVision too (also for the first time).

    It was cool seeing the globe scroll all the way to Lilongwe, Malawi after I twitted ;)

  5. “he should add Starbucks icons randomly in between Twitters”; now wouldn’t that make for a great revenue stream? You could flag events, services etc. Once there are more than a few, just add a filter so users can specify what they are looking for but keep a system of regular pops also to keep sponsors satisfied.

    I don’t code; just daydream a lot, but a 5% share would be fine, thanks!

    Cheers!

  6. “he should add Starbucks icons randomly in between Twitters”; now wouldn’t that make for a great revenue stream? You could flag events, services etc. Once there are more than a few, just add a filter so users can specify what they are looking for but keep a system of regular pops also to keep sponsors satisfied.

    I don’t code; just daydream a lot, but a 5% share would be fine, thanks!

    Cheers!

  7. Wonder what the reaction would have been if he would have decided to display all the messages as they come in (together). Would have given the “real picture” A bunch of teeny weeny people saying something that no one cares :)
    This is addictive though (for a minute). Maybe if I could implement filters – I might be interested.

  8. Wonder what the reaction would have been if he would have decided to display all the messages as they come in (together). Would have given the “real picture” A bunch of teeny weeny people saying something that no one cares :)
    This is addictive though (for a minute). Maybe if I could implement filters – I might be interested.

  9. I thought I had seen the news being displayed this way before. Wonder why I didn’t bookmark it.

  10. I thought I had seen the news being displayed this way before. Wonder why I didn’t bookmark it.

  11. Twittervision is great and have been using it since Sunday.

    Why do you need to send the location? Doesn’t it read the location from your Twitter profile? It seems to get me marked correctly and I have never sent an L: message.

    Troy did put in a nag screen that one needs to click through now at the 12-hour mark. I say get rid of it, but I suppose he is able to release the connections of those who do not click through.

  12. Twittervision is great and have been using it since Sunday.

    Why do you need to send the location? Doesn’t it read the location from your Twitter profile? It seems to get me marked correctly and I have never sent an L: message.

    Troy did put in a nag screen that one needs to click through now at the 12-hour mark. I say get rid of it, but I suppose he is able to release the connections of those who do not click through.

  13. Earlier this year we had proposed doing something like this for a virtual show — where people around the world could see the content, comment and rate it, and add their own.

    Of course, ours wasn’t nearly as elegant. It is kind of “hypmo-tizing”, isn’t it?

  14. Earlier this year we had proposed doing something like this for a virtual show — where people around the world could see the content, comment and rate it, and add their own.

    Of course, ours wasn’t nearly as elegant. It is kind of “hypmo-tizing”, isn’t it?

  15. It’s just so cool to see Twitters in real time from around the world

    I have about 30 seconds worth of patience for that inane dribble, but that’s just me.

  16. It’s just so cool to see Twitters in real time from around the world

    I have about 30 seconds worth of patience for that inane dribble, but that’s just me.

  17. Twitter on the desktop was working well until my third screen blew. :)

    Filters would be very useful as the traffic spirals.

    I’d like to see Troy add below the map a list of the last 5 tweets that popup. They disappear too quickly to click on some I find interesting.

  18. Twitter on the desktop was working well until my third screen blew. :)

    Filters would be very useful as the traffic spirals.

    I’d like to see Troy add below the map a list of the last 5 tweets that popup. They disappear too quickly to click on some I find interesting.

  19. one of the search engines should acquire twitter.

    The search results can be much more accurate if the engine already knows ‘what you are doing’ and ‘where you are’…

  20. one of the search engines should acquire twitter.

    The search results can be much more accurate if the engine already knows ‘what you are doing’ and ‘where you are’…

  21. Christopher: >I have about 30 seconds worth of patience for that inane dribble, but that’s just me.

    Based on your commenting style you’d fit right into Twitter.

  22. Christopher: >I have about 30 seconds worth of patience for that inane dribble, but that’s just me.

    Based on your commenting style you’d fit right into Twitter.

  23. Twitterpainted!

    Lol yes the term comes from the movie Bambi, but the concept comes as a result of reading Robert Scoble’s post on Twittervision. Not that I just sit around idle with nothing to do, but after reading Rob’s post and