Twinfluencers Experiment: Watching Australian and US Journalists, CEOs and Twitterati using Twitter

August 24, 2009

An experimental site, created by Amnesia Razorfish launched ‘softly’ today. It takes a live look into “influencers” and what they are saying on Twitter as it happens.

image monitors US and Australian Journalists, Twitterati and CEO’s

What does Twinfluencers do?
Twinfluencers is a dashboard showing live tweets from Twitter users considered to be influencers within specific groups (Journalists, CEOs and Twitterati). Currently we are breaking these out into Australia and US regions.

So what’s the point?

Whilst there are many tools which track trends, hashtags from the masses this tool takes another angle and provides a peek at live information being generated from these influencer groups. You can jump in at any time without needing to be a Twitter user. It also saves you having to follow and segment the 900(ish) people that Twinfluencers is watching!

Why did we build Twinfluencers?
Firstly, we love doing experiments – the point is we’re not 100% certain of ‘what comes next’. Secondly, we’re of the school of thought that if we’re going to become better at working in social media then “doing stuff” is the way to go. Building the tool may prove useful or useless, but the mere act of building it allowed us to learn some new things. We might yield some insight and analytics that become usable -that would be a bonus. Finally– we couldn’t find a tool that produced what we wanted to see so decided to do it ourselves (although half way through build we found a similar tool for US journos which is actually very good).

What might the site do in the future?
The lists will be keep being compiled and updated. We may add other countries if the demand is there. It would be nice to see some historical data, trends etc from these groups. There are a few minor UI tweaks to be made. We’ve already been asked to do a celebs version, although we specifically avoided celebrities in this round. Alternatively – if we learn nothing or find something better to do then maybe it will just fade away 😉

How many people are in the lists?
At time of writing, but being updated regularly at present;
Australian: Journalists (500) Twitterati (101) CEOs (30)
USA: Journalists (105) Twitterati (101) CEOs (30)

Where do the lists come from?
This was possibly one of the harder parts of the experiment and something we consider to be work in progress:

  • Journalists: We received lots of help from Dave Earley (@earleyedition) in sourcing a very consolidated list of Australian Journalists. US Journalists came from a variety of public sources and some Razorfish US assistance – we also decided to limit the number down to about 100, compared with a much more expanded number of Australian Journalists.
  • Twitterati: This was a slightly tougher list to quantify. In the end we based the list mainly by combining and filtering results from Grader, Retweetability index, Twinfluence, Twittercounter. We removed known ‘spammers’ or those using ‘follow agents’ to grow their count and occasionally factored in the start date of the account (earlier being better).
  • CEOS: Various sources (some tips) including Laurel Papworth.

How can I get my hands on the full list of these groups?
Whilst we’re still in beta testing we’re not openly distributing. The plan is that if the site generates any ongoing interest we will open the lists up – initially to individuals who are willing to contribute to the ongoing maintenance of the lists, and then open to public. Please remember, keeping these lists up to date is quite a lot of hard work.

”How can I get on the list? ARrgh – I deserve to be there!”
Firstly – tweet something and wait a couple of minutes (there can be a delay before you see your tweet appear). Not there? Yes… We know how this works and of course there are people who should be on there who aren’t and vice versa. We’ll keep adding but we’re trying to make this less about the egos, more about a tool that offers some value that we can learn a little from. For those who believe they have been wronged (and we do not mean to wrong anyone) there are some instructions on the site at the bottom of the page to suggest follows, “but” we will apply the same filtering and vague scrutiny to try to keep a balance. 🙂

Monitor coverage and issues online with Perspctv

November 5, 2008

Perspctv is a web service that shows and compares online coverage of up to five issues across twitter, news and the blogosphere.

Currently the site is automatically tracking coverage of the US Election going on right now, but users can make their own dashboards by clicking on the link at the top of the page.


That’s the first one I made, comparing "android”, “blackberry” and “iphone”. Coincidentally, that’s the first one that TechCrunch tried.

Check it out at

Microsoft Introduces New Xbox 360 Dashboard

July 18, 2008

For the games industry, it’s that time of year again. E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is the most significant showcase of upcoming games and games hardware each year. Despite being recently scaled down the event still plays host to important press conferences from the big three, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.

Normally these press conferences are used to lay out roadmaps for each company’s platforms over the ensuing 12 months. Platform refreshes are normally tied to the introduction of new hardware (the announcement of new consoles or the introduction of slim models). For the first time in this ‘next generation’, fundamentally changing the platform experience can be driven by software alone.

Apple are proving this with the iPhone and iPod touch platforms (although poor old iPod touch users have to pay for the firmware upgrades.) Sony has proven this with numerous updates to its initially feature-barren XBM (cross media bar) PLAYSTATION 3 interface and continues to tease the PLAYSTATION Home platform (a fully 3D, Second Life-style world that will hopefully be released in Q4 2008). Even Nintendo’s underpowered but highly popular motion controlled Wii delivers occasional interface updates via the Web. 

A Full Tour Below…

Not prepared to be left behind, in the wake of PLAYSTATION Home’s imminent arrival and Nintendo’s Mii avatar system, Microsoft’s John Schappert took to the stage in LA this week to announce the revamped ‘Xbox Experience’, an all-new Xbox 360 user interface featuring 3D avatars, full Net Flix integration (at least, if you live in the US) and highly visual, streamlined community interaction. Gone are the days of the full-screen Blades and scrolling friend lists. The new Dashboard will be available to download in the coming months.

It’s an interesting challenge, melding function with impactful, highly visual design (all the while taking into consideration the resolutions and aspect ratios that players may be using – 4:3, 16:9, 480i all the way up to 1080p…) Hesitatingly I’d say it looks like Microsoft has pulled it off. Ever-so-subtly, this new UI takes inspiration from Sony’s XBM and allows users to navigate core options via the up and down controls with secondary options controlled via movements to the left and right (this principle is applied in the reverse on Sony’s console). It’s also interesting to note that all in-Dashboard advertising space has been eliminated (praise the Gods!), although certain content has fully themed backgrounds which still allows film studios and/or products on the Xbox Live Marketplace to push their branding straight into your living room.

Microsoft’s Official Spot

For the full minute 22 second promo spot shown at the conference, check out the video above. The revamped Dashboard will be available to download in Q4 this year.