Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

Twitual

Recently, I launched a new project called Twitual.

Twitual is a service which lets you compare your Twitter friends and followers lists in interesting ways. You can see which people are ‘mutual’ (you follow them, and they follow you back), which are ‘fans’ (people who follow you, but you don’t follow them), and which are your ‘idols’ (you follow them, but they don’t follow you back).

Currently, I still consider Twitual to be in an alpha-testing state. The basic functionality is there, though I already have a list of new features to add. The overall visual design is still a bit lacking, in part because I’ve been more focused on finding and fixing bugs in the core functionality, and also because I’m a developer, not a designer.

One of the more obvious features I plan to add are progress bars to show the progress as Twitual builds its friends and followers lists. Another idea is to let you enter two Twitter usernames, and compare which followers and friends they have in common. There are plenty of other things I hope to add in the future, but for now I’ll be happy to just find the time to do a few of them.

I have found the evolution of Twitter and the social networking ecosystem that has sprung up around it to be facinating. And I think it’s going to be interesting to see how Twitual ends up fitting into the Twitterverse, and how people will use it. It’s been fun to build so far — the first time in a while that I’ve started a project to “scratch an itch”, and done it in a way that was worth sharing with the community.

If you are a Twitter user, I hope you’ll check out Twitual, and let me know what you think. Make sure you follow @twitual, and visit the Twitual Development Blog for updates and news.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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11 Responses to Twitual

  1. willnorris says:

    Thanks for giving me a preview of this a couple of weeks ago… it’s really a great service. It’s one of those things that after you see it, you really wonder why Twitter doesn’t support this themselves. I found quite a few people who were following me that I simply forgot to follow back. It’d be great to then be able to click a checkbox next to those names on twitual, submit, and have it start following all of those individuals. I believe the API would support that, and now with OAuth support, you wouldn’t need to be handling people’s credentials.

    • Dougal says:

      OAuth is high on my list, as are adding easy links for adding/removing/viewing/twitualizing other users from the lists.

      My main problem right now is just finding time to make the next set of changes. I’m hoping to refactor the code next week so that I can add the AJAXy progress meters, at the very least. I also need to make things more MVC-oriented and separate out the code from the HTML a little more. That will set me up for improving the user lists visually and functionally.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  2. tratamente says:

    I’ve been using Twitter for a long while and it appairs Twitter has grown 10x in size during 2008 alone as absolutely begun its entrance into the mainstream. Setting up such a tool for twitter it’s a great ideea.

  3. Rainer says:

    I am still not on twitter – now you start writing tools for that platform and I feel kind of on the edge. Damn, I thought this tool is for teens?
    Am I to old for the party (38y) or does it make sense to assimilate?

    • Dougal says:

      I’m four years ahead of you, Rainer, so age is no excuse 🙂

      Twitter is a great networking tool to keep up with people in your areas of interest, or even for keeping up with local, regional, or national news. You can get CNN Breaking News alerts, for example. When you start looking around, you’ll find people using Twitter in all sorts of interesting ways.

      It’s easy to wave it off as simply some sort of hybrid between IM, IRC, email, and “micro blogging”, but it’s really more than just that. Especially when you start exploring some of the search tools that have sprung up around the Twitter API.

  4. Ziare says:

    This is a great idea. No Rainer, you’re not to old, i’m over 30 myself. You are in the prime of your life :).

  5. Great idea. This type of application is available on facebook so makes sense to have it on twitter

  6. zodiac says:

    Great idea! Good luck with the project, this is really needed on Twitter.

  7. Twitter is an invaluable tool for giving folks a bit of insight into who you are as a professional and a person. I especially like the direct tweet option, which lets me pass along wites and links to specific friends of mine. It’s like handing your boss a useful news article she might not yet have seen – only you get to do it online instead! 🙂

  8. I just joined twitter myself a couple of weeks ago and have over 150 follwers, I think its a great way to build up a social network and promote a website, what your proposing would be awsome. I hope you can do it!

  9. mobile home sales says:

    I have used many twitter tools and I really like the sound of this one. Thanks for making it.

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