After I saw the huge success of @TamaleTracker I thought, we can't be the only people who could benefit from a real time messaging service like this. Why not utilize what Twitter has provided for me, a common data source that people are becoming more and more familiar with, combined with this technology and make it available for anyone who wants to create their own tamale tracker or other service to aggregate their followers content. So I created the Spotd service to do just that.
Spotd and its a free service that listens for @replies sent to a Twitter account and then relays those messages through itself. It's the same functionality as the Tamale Tracker but this can be used for anyone and anyone can set one up. Simply register a Twitter account to the Spotd service and any reply sent to the account will be retweeted.
In addition to being a bot for Twitter accounts, Spotd also is my try at creating a real time communication device for cities and towns across the world. I spend a lot of time walking around Chicago and see interesting things happen all the time - people getting arrested, car accidents, buildings on fire, bank robbery, protests and other news-worthy things. I tweet about them, but I wanted to create something to give people a common source of communication throughout their city to stay on top of things that are happening right now without having to wait for major media outlets to cover them. That’s where the Spotd news service comes in, it is an aggregated, user-submitted news feed for interesting things going on - so far, I created accounts for @SpotdChicago, @SpotdLA, @SpotdSF and @SpotdNYC; with more to come and any user can create their own Spotd news service for their own city.
I hope you can see the value in this as much as I do, if you'd like more information, have any suggestions or would like to help me work on this, please feel free to contact me.
I wanted to let share with the group a new project I just started working on this week using the same technology as the @tamaletracker (twitter.com/tamaletracker). I spend a lot of time walking around Chicago and always notice interesting things going on – from people getting arrested, to celebrity sightings and news-worthy events. I tweet about these sort of things, but have always thought it would be nice to have something or someone to tweet these to, a common data source and place to go for this sort of information. That’s where @Spotd (twitter.com/spotd) comes in, it is an aggregated, user-submitted news feed for interesting things going on, specific to the city you live in - Chicago for now.
I, like many people, always want to be on top of things going on in Chicago (from the standpoint of locals) – this is the perfect way for people to stay updated on what’s going on, right now, in their city. This includes and is not limited to crime reports, breaking news, celebrity sightings, traffic incidents, etc. Best of all with the support of Twitpic users can get actual footage of things that are happening instead of waiting for the major news networks to get out and report on them.
The functionality is the same as the @tamaletracker system. Users tweet a reply to @spotd when they witness said arrests, celebrity sightings and news-worthy events. The system then will relay their message through the http://twitter.com/spotd user account.
In the next couple days(I hope) I am going to whip up a web page and some more descriptive text about the service and make it more extensible than the built in Twitter functionality. As of now I only created an account for Chicago, however this can easily be expanded in a manner of minutes.
I hope you can see the value in this as much as I do, if you'd like more information or have any suggestions, please feel free to contact me.
She says "Interesting and fun, but wouldn't happen in large scale."
I'm not so sure though. I think something like this (minus the free tix from airlines for publicity) could become a common way to get around in the future, with the right tool in place, accentuating the right things for people.
What do others think?
I just wanted to let the Cincinnati people know that I have successfully (knock on wood) set up an instance of the DIYtraffic bot for Cincinnati. It can be found at:
Like all DIYtraffic bots it's getting it's traffic data from Yahoo. Also, it will respond to driect messages with traffic info on specific streets (if there is any). I've also plugged it into twittbot.com so it will re-tweet @replies it gets.
If you're on twitter, check it out. So far it hasn't tweeted anything about traffic, because I don't think there are any accidents or anything in our area.
I'll keep you posted on how it goes if anything of interest happens with this.
Everyone loves tamales and everyone loves late night situations where a friendly stranger delivers hot fresh tamales right to your bar stool. So, after some intense conversations surrounding the Tamale Guy here in Chicago, we came up with a great idea. What if it were some how possible to follow the Tamale Guy via Twitter as he made his rounds? A user community that would tweet when and where they saw the tamale guy and then users could be able to follow the progress by following the twitter.com/tamaletracker (tamaleguy was already taken).
How it works:
- twitter users send a @Reply to @tamaletracker when they see the Tamale Guy at their favorite pub in Chicago.
- then a scheduled listening service looks for any @Replies that have come into twitter.com/tamaletracker.
- when a new tweet comes in, the twitter.com/tamaletracker account then ReTweets on their behalf.
- twitter users sign up to follow twitter.com/tamaletracker or simply go to twitter.com/tamaletracker.
- choose to recieve sms alerts when twitter.com/tamaletracker tweets.
I created this the other day and have not tested it beyond my own tweets up until now. So if anyone does choose to use this little tool please let me know what bugs you find or if it just plain doesn't work for you.
It somehow feels like a new world out there today, so it's fitting DIYcity has its first user-submitted app! Traffictweet, created by Andy Weissman, is a twitter bot that lets people broadcast current traffic conditions to others listening in. Subscribe to it, broadcast messages about traffic, and receive messages sent by others.
The app is pretty general of course. It would be useful to have different twitter feeds set up for different cities, for starters, and then you could segment it further several different ways to minimize noise to users. Still, this is a great first step for trying out and moving forward with. Kudos to Andy.
I just subscribed to the feed and am going to start playing around with it. If you're interested, you should do the same.
Or else take the idea one step further and build something better.