Friday, January 2, 2009

Twitter’s stream of consciousness

Does the minutiae of Twitter have any real meaning? What if you could learn from your “I’m having a ham sandwich” Twitter moments by plotting your snap judgments and feelings on a graph?

One of the things we love about Twitter is the ability to lifestream our personal digital history and share it with our friends and followers. Although we are creating lasting digital moments by passively documenting our lives, we feel that this history of our minutiae is pretty much noise. However, is that really the case? A new application, Plodt, was created to help make sense of our personal history. According to Plodt, the little things actually are interesting and by ranking these moments on a timeline, one can find insights in our daily activities.


Plodt was founded by Mike, Demetrie, and Amanda of Seawinkle who created Plodt because they don't think of Tweets as so much noise or ephemera, but rather as valuable details about your life. Developers Mike and Demetrie are former interns from the Microsoft Research lab who met at NYU’s School for the Arts. You may recognize the third founder, Amanda Hesser. Former food writer and food editor of the Sunday Magazine for the NY Times, Amanda has been lifestreaming and documenting her life for several years in print, for example, via the Food Diary columns that she wrote from 2000-2002 and her best seller, Cooking for Mr. Latte: A Food Lover's Courtship, with Recipes.

By adding a category and a number to the end of your tweet, Plodt is able to graph your history and help you get more value out of your daily tweets. In the sample Plodt chart below, you can see that Amanda has had a pretty enjoyable food (purple) period with the exception of a mediocre croissant on 12/19 (3) and what must have been awful french fries and beer on 12/30 (.3).


Based on Amanda’s background, it should be no surprise that there is a strong food element to Plodt. Each week, fans of Bravo’s Top Chef share their impressions of the contestants with Twitter and Plodt. It reminds of the commercials rating game that Jeremiah Owyang organized during last year’s Super Bowl. Just think how much easier it would have been if we could have graphed the commercials with Plodt.

Twitter is the closest social media ever gets to a stream of consciousness whereby we document what we think, what’s in our mind at the time, what we think about our daily life. Now with a tool like Plodt, we can make some sense out of it all. So the challenge is what would you like to learn from your Twitter stream, what would you want to measure and if it could be measured, would you tweet any differently?

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Anonymous said...

i'm scared to warren, don't wanna know my true self!

Warren said...


Thanks for the honesty. Hopefully, it will be helpful for others.

Anonymous said...
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