One weeks worth of tweets


So I was away for a week. Perfectly able to follow the internets, but not willing to. I try to stay away from computers and internet while on my holidays (explicit point to make here: when abroad, not just at home ;)). However, with the internet becoming even more important as time passes, this is becoming harder still. At least, it is in my environment.

Most of my communication on the internet happens through twitter these days. My website is for venting or logging stuff. IM is mostly just used for RL stuff these days, and I don't really use it that often anymore. So my most interesting channel is twitter. But not for the past week. So with the absence of twitter vacation services (wtf) I just polled the stream every hour and blindly saved it in a database. When I got back I used my own reader and transformed it so it would fetch all of them (about 1000 spread over three searches and my own stream). This amounted to 1750 tweets for two searches ("kuvos" and "qfox") and my own stream. It seems the search for "js1k" only returned partial xml's. Kind of weird, but it's the least important stream for now (don't worry, I still got your dm's or @replies ;)) so I don't care.

Anyways, it took me about three hours to wade through the weeks worth of tweets. I'm following about 100 people, most of them javascript or at least front-end related. Of course I get a lot of links, most of them nerdy. Here are my findings...

First of all... it's not really worth it. Most tweets are just about pushing stuff onto the web. Be it links, images or announcements. Then there's a category of "fine, but what do I care tweets". What's for dinner, where are you now (inc 4sq..), the color of your sisters lipstick. All this stuff can be easily skipped.

Then there are the IM tweets. These tend to be more interesting, but only if you're (potentially) part of the IM conversationists. When you're not there, you're not one of them and a week later it's usually not so interesting anymore. And even if it was, you're probably too late to respond anyways. Absorb the information and only respond if either you were directly asked a question or mentioned or if the asker did not seem to get a sufficient answer. Which on the twitters or internets is hardly ever the case.

So then what's left..? Oh, DM's and direct questions. Well, those can be easily filtered and found. And they don't usually amount to many. At least not in my case :)

So apart from the direct messages and @replies, the only real reason to wade through your stream seems to be interesting urls. This is a list of the urls I opened "to read" from my stream. Ex. some funny images because I closed them. I'm not gonna show sources since I don't want to even be bothered to check for them. The order is random (or rather, the order of firefox tabs :)). Below is why I even bothered to open the url...

I wished there was an easy way to automatically group tweets based on their context. Like this week there were a lot of node knockout tweets, lots of general fun links, some js spec links, some "dont care" tweets, etc. Often during some announcement you'll see a storm of tweets about them (apple, google, msft are good at this). These can easily be bundled to get the point. But it's very hard to do this automatically.

The tweets from the past week are probably easily groupable in about ten categories. Some I would have immediately dropped, others scanned and only a few very thoroughly. This would make the backlog process much faster.

The thing is, even though some of these links are interesting to me, if they are important I'll eventually see them anyways. Be it because they are important or because I'm following the poster's RSS feed anyways. Did I really need to wade through the weeks worth of tweets? Or maybe not so much... Yeah.
Special characters amount to certain icons on the iphone
"JavaScript IS Object Oriented Programming"
"The Future is here. I just forked a running website:"
Lots of buzz about Malte's twitter client running on node.
Robot Unicorn Attack
A silly game, I'm sure. Still had to check (game addict, that's me!). (not a good game btw ;))
"Why Scala's "Option" and Haskell's "Maybe" types will save you from null"
Just wanted to know what it's about, I'm not a Haskell guy after all.
Dude. Zelda 3d. It may be the only reason to buy this damn thing. Zelda! 3d!
"Speedsolving A Rubik’s Cube While Skydiving In A Rubber Boat"
Your standard wicked / stupid * internet shit. (* cross out what doesn't apply)
"Chakra: Interoperability Means More Than Just Standards"
Your standard reading material
"3 Rules of thumb for Bloom Filters"
I was just hoping for pretty pictures on this one ;) Don't make the same mistake...
"Node SmartMachines"
Some of the node knockout buzz (lots of tweets too)
Oh good, short urls still exist. Hoped to get more information about how canvas works internally.
I hardly ever follow gits anymore. They're usually boring and tell me zilch, often missing a live demo. This was probably a shortlink ;)
"Icons of the web"
The node knockout home page. How cool is that domain.
"How to Centre and Layout Pages Without a Wrapper"
Front-end always keeps evolving. You got to keep up.
Sounded interesting, still have to read.
"SERP Domination"
I don't know why I clicked on a SEO link (this one dates back to 2007, outdated much?). It's always crap and this particular one is clearly spam. Probably a contextual to the tweet :)
Something about lots of users, lots of load and lots of queries. Hoping to read about methodology.
"Towards Auto-sharding in Your Node.js App"
Wait, auto-sharding? That ought to be an interesting technique.
Already knew this one, just wanted to be sure it's not a new kid on the block. It's good for those nasty js1k entries ;)
Brendan, JS, static analysis. Can only mean interesting stuff.
Hah, I like. And the actual movie sounds intersting as well.
"RGB decimal to hex"
I'm just into this sort of stuff. Even though it's continually changing.
@jseidelin's 10k entry, a fancy paint app.
"A minute with brendan"
More Brendan.
"Byte-Saver Quiz: Answers"
I love js quizes :D Always check the answers, learn from your mistakes!
"LABjs & RequireJS: Loading JavaScript Resources the Fun Way"
To be honest, I doubt this will contain anything I care about. But have to scan just in case.
"Malware implicated in fatal Spanair plane crash"
Improve general knowledge and facts. We have a coffee machine too, you know. I hope the malware authors get charged with murder.
Dude, particles, web-gl, this must be awesome.
Another 10k entry. Gotta love them. This is a racing game by @gameQuery.
It's a javascript parser generator. Already knew it, just checking to make sure it's nothing new. I'm working on something like this myself.
"Java Road Trip - Where have all our heroes gone?"
I'm not sure why I opened this. I did read a few tweets about Java becoming the new Cobol. Eg. Ancient and obsoleted.
I'm sure this is related to the Brendan link above...
"Colors of the social world (wide web)"
Generically interesting though useless stuff.
"Attack of the IE Conditional Comment…"
It's an "old" post disguised as a reddit link. I tend to ignore (old, classic) browser hacks more often though.
A syntax highlighter I don't know yet. Like I said, working on something related (and generally interested in this ;)).
"Programatically simulating JavaScript events in your test environment"
Not possible from within javascript as it stands now, afaik. So I want to know what this approach is.
Finally, the venue is known. Now I can book my flight and hotel.
"Object.defineProperty ... but Strict!"
I'm a spec nitpicker.
"Russia in color, a century ago" usually has very good photo collections.
This one is good :D It's an alarm clock that ensures you wake up.
"try {} catch (e) {} finally { return }"
Did I mention I'm a spec nitpick?
"PSV en Tom redden het niet tegen prutsers"
Dutch, curious title.
"The Big List Of Game Development Resources"
I really want to create a game in/with js, but I don't have the time...
some music site.
A new comic I need to add to my feed reader...
A new programming challenge contest.