Saturday, October 31, 2009

Real time flight status…or not

After reading Mashable’s review of Lufthansa’s real time flight status update program, Myskystatus, I decided to try it out on my trip to Vietnam. The system posts status updates to Twitter and Facebook in real time and is pretty easy to use.


However, it’s not real time, at least not in my case. You see, due to mechanical trouble, my Delta plane turned around and returned to Seattle after flying for 3 hours. Yet, the system kept sending updates that I was flying over Asia, even though I was sleeping in my bed. My suspicion is that Delta never updated the flight status, so Myskystatus kept reporting that I was in the air. In fact, I am writing this from home as I get ready to fly on United Airlines today. When I arrive in Vietnam (hopefully, tomorrow night), I will write about that post.


Personally, after having seen the service in action, I don’t think I will use it again as it provides too much useless information for me.  My wife even thought I was spamming her.  I do think the usage of tools like Myskystatus for automated status updates to Twitter and Facebook will grow as we have a strong appetite for real time status and search. I just think it needs to be tempered with some discretion on how it is used and affects your friends and followers. What do you think would be some useful applications of real time status via Twitter?


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, October 16, 2009

Making my list, checking it twice…

As I am sure many of you have noticed, Twitter introduced the new list functionality yesterday. It is still in beta, so not everyone has been able to see it. When you log in, you will see this screen for the first time.

FireShot capture #003 - 'Breaking_ Twitter Begins Lists Rollout' - www_techcrunch_com_2009_10_15_breaking-twitter-begins-lists-rollout

Lists work as advertised, you can:

  1. Create a list from your followers.
  2. Make it public or private.

    FireShot capture #001 - 'Twitter _ Home' - twitter_com_#

  3. Your public lists can be followed by others.

 FireShot capture #002 - 'Twitter _ Lists' - twitter_com_warrenss_lists_memberships

On your Twitter page, the number of lists that you are on will be displayed next to your follower number and your public lists will be shown further down the page.

FireShot capture #004 - 'Josh Weinberger (kitson) on Twitter' - twitter_com_kitson

When you click on one of your lists, you only see tweets from the members of that list.  Sounds like Tweetdeck, right?

So what other functionality would I like to see in lists?

  1. Creating lists from your followers page is pretty slow going, especially if you have many followers. You can also go to someone’s page directly, but that is not much more efficient.
  2. It would be great to be able to send a tweet to all list members, sort of like L + name of the list. This would work just like Mike Langford’s great product, Tweetworks.

One thing that I will be curious to see: Once Twitter Lists becomes popular, will more people flock to using Twitter on the web instead of the clients like Tweetdeck and Seesmic? 

What are your impressions of Lists?  How are you using them?  What other features do you need for it to be really useful? Do you think you will migrate from Tweetdeck?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Win a Scholarship with Twitter

You may have seen some of these tweets posted. has announced a twitter contest where they are giving away $14014.00 to college students on Twitter.  One lucky tweeter can win a scholarship of $10,000. Similar to most contests designed to increase a company’s followers, the task is not too difficult, even for time-stressed college students:

  1. Create a Tweet highlighting how we can use Twitter to improve the world.
  2. Forward your tweet as a link to @scholarships and include the hashtag #scholarships. (A little redundant to me, btw).
  3. Follow @scholarships.

The contest expires on 10/29 and the winner will be announced on the 30th.

You can learn full details about the Twitter 140 Scholarship here.