For the last year, I have been writing and rewriting software to live stream a Twitter hashtag to a screen during an event to create a meta crowd interaction that encompasses the audience and expands its borders to the world outside, allowing those who aren’t attending to interact with the event goers. Finally, after multiple revisions and rewrites, I am releasing Live Tweets to the world.
Live Tweets started when I was on the 2009 NY Twestival committee and someone asked if I could create a screen to show anything that appeared on Twitter with “#nytwestival” in it. I took up the challenge and had a fully working version ready in two weeks. Since that time, it has gone through multiple revisions to be more robust, have more features, and be far more customizable than the original version.
What is Live Tweets? Live Tweets is a piece of software that you display on a screen or screens at an event that constantly watches Twitter for the search term that you enter in the Live Tweets control panel and automatically updates the screen(s) for all attendees to see. Most commonly the search term is using what is commonly called a hashtag. A hashtag is a word that is prefixed with a # to make it easier to search for in the stream of all Twitter updates.
What features does Live Tweets have? In addition to streaming the tweets to your screen, Live Tweets allows you to customize the look and feel of your screen to match your event’s palette and look. Live Tweets also gives you the option to show any pictures that users take during the event and will add a thumbnail to their tweet on the screen, so all the attendees can get a different view of the party.
What if someone posts something I don’t like at the event? The Live Tweets control panel allows you to block any tweets from appearing based on language and/or user. Any tweets you deem to contain offensive language can be stopped from appearing by simply entering the word into the control panel. If a particular user is being rambunctious, all of their tweets can be stopped by entering their name in the control panel.
What do I need to install? Nothing. Live Tweets is a web based application, so all it requires is one of the latest web browsers and an internet connection to get started.
How easy is it to use Live Tweets? Very simple. The configuration is done through an easy to use control panel. Once you set your preferences, all you need to do is open the live streaming page and watch as people Twitter your search term.
What is your business model? Software as a service. We are there from the beginning to end, supporting, training and assisting your needs to make sure you have the best experience possible using Live Tweets.
What other services does Live Tweets provide? We also offer such services as Twitter training to teach you and your staff what Twitter is and how to use it, if you need such assistance. We can also set up and run your Live Tweets screen, if that level of assistance is needed.
What features do you have in the pipeline? Some cool ones. Keep checking the Live Tweets website to see what we cook up.
I couldn’t have created Live Tweets without the help of quite a few people. My Twestival family, who inspired and guided the original version of Live Tweets, and without whom there wouldn’t be a Live Tweets. Roger Wu and Emily Gannett, who both gave me a lot of ideas and inspiration for Live Tweets while working at Klickable. Christina Coster for her event management experience and her GFY. Sixter Pazmino of Sixter Design for creating the look and feel of the Live Tweets website. And thank you to everyone I have talked to and about Live Tweets to over the past year, as each and every one of you have helped form Live Tweets as it is today.