I gave a little talk over lunch at the Directors’ Festival on Saturday about the merits of Twitter. It mainly involved me waving my arms around and rambling quite a lot but people seemed to enjoy it.
Sometimes Twitter showcases the very worst of humanity, however sometimes it also gives you an insight into how lovely most people are. That happened twice for me this week, the first was the discovery of @BrianPilton, the Twitter account of a 75-year old grandfather living in Exeter. My cynical side hopes this isn’t a parody account, my nice side is glad to read about Brian’s life because he sounds like a lovely man and I love that he is apparently really getting something positive from being on Twitter, the internet at its best can eradicate physical constraints and open you up to a whole world of new people, ideas and whatnot and it seems that’s what Twitter is doing for Brian, as this tweet says:
@indiandeathlock Thank you I just like talking to people on here and it's a nice place to make friends I enjoy it Brian, Exeter
— Brian Pilton (@BrianPilton) March 6, 2015
The second time Twitter was good this week was after this fairly upsetting screengrab of some people being twats was shared, a load of (better) people decided to try and find the bloke in the photo and tell him that he is great, people are great, dancing is great and they want to invite him to a big dance party.
AND THEY DID: @Dancingmanfound
So, there you go; Twitter, not all bad
The ‘lifestream’ (his description, not mine) that I’ve been working on for Ben Cotton has gone live www.ben-cotton.com.
Ben had asked me to develop a 1-page site that pulled together all of his online activity in one place.
The new site uses Simple Pie (http://simplepie.org/) to aggregate the rss feed from Ben’s ‘Social Web Thing’ blog and also uses Twitter’s standard JSON call to display all Ben’s latest Twitter activity (although this script is a little temperamental as it relies a little to heavily on Twitter’s sometimes unreliable servers – i’m looking at alternatives.
The site also links directly to Ben’s LinkedIn, TwitPic, Twitter, Scribd and Flickr accounts as well as using the Google Maps API to produce a location map of Edelman’s London office (where Ben works).
Last but not least I’ve also included the ever-present Google Analytics to give Ben some decent stats.
Phase two of the development will see me combining all of Ben’s rss feeds into one ‘master’ feed and providing Ben with a simple CMS to control certain elements (such as meta data) of the site.