SIDE PRO­JECT

Omayeli Arenyeka on how Tweeter or Retweeter tells if you orig­i­nate or cir­cu­late

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Tell us about your Tweeter or Retweeter tool. It tells you whether you’re a tweeter or retweeter based on a cer­tain num­ber of posts scraped from your user pro­file. It also cre­ates a graphic with that in­for­ma­tion you can down­load and share. Why did you cre­ate it? I kept see­ing peo­ple talk about be­ing “Twit­ter orig­i­nals” and be­ing su­per creative and clever with their tweets. I wanted a way to ac­tu­ally quan­tify that, some­thing that peo­ple could show as proof. Also I think when you’re on Twit­ter, at times a lot of the things you do are un­con­scious – you see a funny tweet and you retweet it. I won­dered if peo­ple ac­tu­ally knew what their user pro­file looked like so I wanted to cre­ate some­thing that re­vealed that. What were you hop­ing to achieve? I wanted to make some­thing fun that would re­veal a bit of who we are on­line so we can in­ter­ro­gate that and share with oth­ers. When peo­ple talk about how creative they are on Twit­ter, I wanted them to be able to point to some­thing as ev­i­dence. And on the other hand, if you say you are on Twit­ter to en­gage with the ideas of peo­ple, does your user pro­file re­flect that? What tech­nolo­gies were used in build­ing it? I built it on a plat­form called glitch be­cause it al­lows oth­ers to ‘remix’ your pro­ject and make it their own. So it’s hosted on glitch. I use Node.js to get all the rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion from the Twit­ter API and then good ol’ JavaScript, a bit of JQuery and the HTML Can­vas to cre­ate the down­load­able graphic. How has Tweeter or Retweeter been re­ceived? It’s been re­ceived pretty well! It was fea­tured on the glitch news­let­ter ti­tled “cool and use­ful apps you won’t find any­where else”. Lots of peo­ple shared the graphic on­line with cap­tions like “ap­par­ently I’m a tweeter” or “Glad I share more than I blab!” or “all fresh con­tent here folks”. What do you think you’ll do next with it? The first thing is I want to make it eas­ier to share, so just sim­ply be able to draft a tweet with the gen­er­ated graphic di­rectly from the site. Se­condly, I would like to have the user be able to com­pare their re­sults to other users of the site. So I want to cre­ate a data­base of the re­sults and have an (opt-in) col­lec­tion of all the gen­er­ated graph­ics. I also want to add a non-bi­nary scale. So in­stead of retweeter or tweeter, have maybe su­per retweeter > retweeter > per­fect bal­ance > tweeter > su­per tweeter [in or­der] to make the re­sults more spe­cific.

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