If you read this blog, you’ll know I use Twitter, as do many of the people I interact with virtually.
Recently, Twitter and its use created a strange alliance that is a powerful case study for new web collaboration.
This alliance made up of a person from SAP, a person from Oracle, an Oracle customer, and a grouchy blogger has come together around a singular cause, i.e. creating a way to tweet to a group and consume group tweets in a single stream.
Eddie Awad (eddieawad), who is an Oracle customer and a valuable Oracle community member, but alas, not an Oracle employee, has created a Twitter account, oow, for OpenWorld tweets. You can tweet into the oow stream by following oow and tweeting @oow.
Eddie wrote a script in his free time, which I’m sure he’ll be happy to share on his blog, that uses the Twitter API to accomplish this. Very cool stuff and useful too.
For example, I might tweet something like “@oow leaving on the first flight to sfo for openworld” on Sunday when I head out for San Francisco. This tweet would appear in the stream for oow as “jkuramot: leaving on the first flight to sfo for openworld”. The power here is that anyone following oow will see all the tweets from everyone in a single stream, which of course can be consumed in RSS. The result is a live stream of information from OpenWorld.
Several Enterprise Irregulars were attending the Defrag conference this week, and many were Twittering the event. They expressed general displeasure with Twitter’s lack of a group functionality, which would make it much easier to tweet to a targeted audience. Enter Craig, who like Eddie, hacks in his free time.
Craig put together eventtrack, whose purpose is “to build ‘on the fly’ groups for Twitters at events”. I’m not sure of the exact implementation details, but eventtrack leverages Twitter’s tracking feature to allow people to tweet to and track a keyword (i.e. the event name) and consolidate the tweets into a single stream. I’ll let Craig correct me in comments.
So, we have the Oracle customer (Eddie), the SAP guy (Craig), you’ve probably figured out the Oracle person is me, so who’s the grouchy blogger?
Surprise, it’s Dennis Howlett (dahowlett). Dennis is the glue that brought this alliance together; through Twitter, I had seen that he was working with Craig on eventtrack. Dennis, in his own way, brought us all together with this tweet:
a lot of the conversation is direct. Of course ORCL tech bods could try and best @ccmehil. 😉
Funny thing is: 1) Eddie doesn’t work for Oracle and 2) it’s not a contest, which I guess is why he emoticon’ed a wink.
This sparked a Facebook conversation (because sometimes 140 characters just isn’t enough) in which we all shared requirements and implementations. Right now, it seems ironic that the first conference to test eventtrack is OpenWorld, but such is the new web. We are all working together to scratch that itch, and traditional boundaries no longer mean anything.
So what if Craig and I work for companies that compete with each other? So what if we are in different time zones and have never met in person?
That’s what makes this great. We’re still working out the details. This will be fun.